Letters to the editor

LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to olivia.barnes@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to olivia.barnes@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Got to get mining bill right

On February 26 the Liberal government intends to reintroduce the Mining Bill into parliament for debate.

Before the 2018 election the party promised that they would ‘consult far and wide’ to try and make the legislation fairer for landowners.

By the end of 2018 they had reneged on that promise and reintroduced the bill which was almost word for word the Labor bill that they had indeed blocked.

The legislation has remained unchanged since 1971 and it is time for it to be updated but after so many years it makes sense to take the time and get it done properly.

Various industry bodies and concerned groups are asking the government to conduct an independent review and get all the facts before making any changes.

We have such a small amount of arable land in this state why should we sit back and allow it to be used for mining?

As there is a vast amount of minerals in the north of the state why not leave prime agriculture land alone?

Once valuable farming land has been lost to mining it can never be replaced or restored to its former productivity.

South Australia prides itself on its sustainable, clean, green image when marketing our commodities to the world and we run the risk of damaging that reputation.

If you are concerned about food security and where your food will come from for the next 100 years, please contact your local member and voice your concern.



Looking for treatment answers

Last month I received a significant amount of correspondence about the absence of Oncotice treatment at the Port Lincoln Hospital.

Oncotice treatment, which I was unfamiliar with until then, is the administration of Bacillus Calmette and Guerin (BCG), an immunotherapy drug used to treat some non-invasive bladder cancers.

The treatment is considered cancer treatment but also is set apart somewhat due to its problematic nature - BCG is a live vaccine. 

As many cancer patients in the electorate of Flinders are aware, Port Lincoln Health Services does not provide medium to high risk chemotherapy treatment, only low risk.

Two years ago I wrote to then health minister Jack Snelling for an explanation as to why our hospital upgrade did not result in increased treatment for cancer patients. 

His reply was convoluted and unsatisfactory in that it did not address the question.

Last year I wrote to Health Minister Stephen Wade who responded with the news that Country Health SA Local Health Network had sought advice on how cancer services across regional SA, including chemotherapy in Port Lincoln, could be improved.

The result was an undertaking by Country Health to determine the reclassification of the hospital chemotherapy unit to a medium risk level in the future.

This, if it were to occur would be good news as it could mean those whose treatment is classed low or medium risk would no longer have to travel to Whyalla or Adelaide for treatment. 

I have written to Mr Wade asking why Oncotice treatment remains unavailable at the hospital and expect a reply soon.

I am hopeful that the consideration of reclassification for all cancer treatment might include the provision of oncotice treatment.

As BCG is a live vaccine, there would be a need to establish appropriate safety measures for both hospital staff and the community before the service could be administered without risk.

I will update the community as I gain further information about this and other cancer treatment.

PETER TRELOAR, Member for Flinders

Port Lincoln