Labor promises new ’emergency care’ health clinics to ease pressure on hospitals as Liberals focus on fuel

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will be in Melbourne on Wednesday to announce a trial of 50 urgent care clinics across the country, providing an alternative to busy hospital emergency departments for families.

The clinics will treat patients requiring urgent medical attention, including broken bones, minor burns and stitches for cuts, in a bid to free up congested emergency departments.

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They will be based in doctors’ offices and community health centers nationwide and will cost more than $135 million over four years.

Mr Albanese said families could get the care they need without long waiting times.

“These clinics are a key part of the Labor Party’s plan to bolster Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor,” he said.

“Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will relieve emergency services, so they can focus on saving lives.”

Labor health spokesman Mark Butler said the clinics would be a level of care between a GP clinic and life-saving treatment in the emergency department.

“GPs across the country and community health centers have tried to make this kind of model work, but it just can’t stack up financially under the existing Medicare system,” he told ABCRadio.

“If we’re going to get that intermediate level of care, the urgent care between GP and hospital care, you’re going to need additional funding.”

From western Sydney, Scott Morrison is set to fly interstate later today to secure two $125 million grants to be matched by refineries in Brisbane and Victoria to begin major construction work to upgrade the facilities.

According to Morrison, the $250 million investment would secure the country’s production and fuel supply.

“COVID-19, the Russian war in Ukraine and trade restrictions have disrupted global supply chains and Australia is not immune,” Mr Morrison said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the former Queensland coalition MP

in front of saying that a nation will nominate him as a candidate.

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Mr Christensen previously announced he would step down from his Dawson seat and earlier this month he resigned from the LNP.

National Senator Matt Canavan said it was a cowardly decision.

“It’s a desertion…you don’t go and talk to a minor party,” he told Nine Network on Wednesday.

It is unclear whether Mr Christensen will run for One Nation in the lower house or the Senate. One Nation has already shortlisted its candidate for its current Dawson seat.

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Meanwhile, in Sydney on Tuesday night who called the Prime Minister a disgrace.

The 20-year-old, identified as a ‘progressive activist’ online, approached Mr Morrison and filmed the interaction.

“ScoMo, across the river here, across the Nepean River, people have lost their homes and they’ve been burnt down. You’re a disgrace – you’re a disgrace,” can be heard say the man in the video.

The workforce gives up on reviewing the rate of jobseekers

Labor says it no longer plans to review the jobseeker rate and potentially raise it above the current rate of $46 a day.

The opposition movement has drawn criticism from social service groups and the Greens, who have argued for higher unemployment benefits.

The government increased Jobseeker by $50 a fortnight in April last year.

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Mr Butler said the Labor Party had adopted a policy to elevate Jobseeker in the 2019 election, but told ABC Radio they had a “more focused agenda” ahead of this year’s poll.

“We have argued very strongly throughout the pandemic that the raise that was temporarily given to job seekers should be made permanent,” he said.

“Labour pressure on the government is a big part of the reason the government hasn’t brought the unemployment rate down to $40 a day.”