By Casey Neill
La Trobe MP Jason Wood has slammed claims the Federal Government is putting Narre Warren headspace at risk, labelling them completely false.
Senator Deborah O’Neill, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health, visited the Narre Warren and Dandenong headspace sites on Tuesday 14 March.
There she called on Mr Wood to “tell the truth” about the Liberals’ $141 million cuts to mental health funding and threats to the youth mental health initiative.
“(Prime Minister) Malcolm Turnbull needs to put mental health front and centre as he said he would,” Ms O’Neill said.
“With around 3.6 million Australians living with a mental illness, we cannot afford no action on mental health reform.”
Ms O’Neill said that Mr Turnbull made a $20 million election commitment for 10 new headspace centres without any detailed advice from the Health Department.
Mr Wood said it was a bit rich of Ms O’Neill to come out to La Trobe and make comment on this.
“We’ve never seen her before, and she clearly doesn’t know the history on the issue,” he said.
“I campaigned to deliver another headspace for my electorate’s use in 2010, and it’s been delivered with the Narre Warren headspace.
“It is absolute rubbish to suggest there is any threat to the funding of Australia’s world-leading headspace initiative.
“In fact, the Turnbull Government not only guaranteed headspace funding at the last election, it committed a further $20 million to 10 new centres.
“Senator O’Neill needs to explain the basis of her bizarre claim that headspace is under threat. It’s completely false.”