Macarthur matters with Dr Mike Freelander MP: Donate Life week

Macarthur matters: Donate Life week

Taking place from Sunday 26 July - Sunday 2 August, DonateLife Week serves as an annual community awareness campaign to promote organ and tissue donation in Australia.

As a Member of Parliament, I find that my roles and responsibilities are diverse. Naturally, my main objective is to work in the interests and represent the needs of Macarthur residents. However, there are a number of other functions that need to be filled in the Parliament as well.

One role that I undertake within the federal parliament, outside of my typical electoral duties, is to serve as a co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Organ Donation Group.

The group serves as a bi-partisan collective, which seeks to raise awareness about organ donation within the Parliament and our respective communities.

To mark DonateLife Week 2020, I am encouraging Macarthur residents to talk about organ and tissue donation with their families, friends and love ones.

Organ and tissue donation is a difficult topic for many, and some people have deeply held beliefs either side of the equation.

I respect those views, and understand that is it a matter that can be quite polarizing and weigh on an individual's conscious.

It is important to make sure your wishes are known to your loved ones.

While many Australians believe it's important to be an organ and tissue donor, many fail to take that next step and register.

If you wish to give the gift of life, it is important to remember to register.

It is an easy process that takes less than a minute - all you need is your Medicare card and you can register online at donatelife.gov.au

This week, I'll be having a conversation with my loved ones about organ and tissue donation, and I encourage you all to do the same!

JOBKEEPER AND JOBSEEKER 2.0

For some time now, Labor has been calling for an extension to the JobSeeker and JobKeeper programs.

It has been abundantly clear to me that the old base rate of JobSeeker was too low and is inadequate - $40 per day is not enough for someone to live on.

With up to 4908 businesses in Macarthur and their employees relying on JobKeeper to make ends meet, we have been consistently calling on the Government to maintain support for struggling industries.

Under the Liberal-National Government's proposed changes to these programs, the Macarthur region stands to have an extraordinary amount of money ripped out of its local economy.

With up to $27 976 500 being ripped out of the local economy each and every fortnight, had JobKeeper been cancelled too early, the cost of any changes to these programs cannot be underestimated.

Disappointingly, the Government's announcements fail to address some of the original flaws and gaps in the JobKeeper program, including the deliberate exclusion of millions of workers, including many casual workers in industries that have been hardest-hit by Government restrictions.

The Government should not have deliberately excluded millions of workers from JobKeeper.

Their announcement does nothing to create jobs for the hundreds of thousands of workers that have already lost their jobs, despite Treasury forecasting even higher unemployment in the JobKeeper review.

It appears to me that the Government has based these changes off some very optimistic assumptions about job creation, with little substance in terms of policy to facilitate growth. This is the first recession we have seen in three decades, and the Government must prioritise job creation in regions such as Macarthur.