Freight costs, winter travel and diminishing health services were among the issues raised at the recent KI community forum hosted by the Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie.
“We’ve had hundreds of people attending the community forums and Young Mayo forums in the past few months,” Rebekha said.
One of the issues raised through the community survey was the cost of travel for islanders.
“While many were satisfied with the service and associated discounts provided by Sealink, some participants raised issues of availability, particularly during winter months when Sealink retires one of their vessels for routine maintenance,” Rebekha said.
“Residents also raised some of the difficulties faced by businesses and high costs of freight to the island.
“Health was another issue, particularly the availability of specialists on the island and diminishing health services in areas other than Kingscote.
“In a meeting with the KI Health Service the following day, these concerns were echoed by staff who said retaining specialist GPs was a major issue.
Besides the community forum, Rebekha visited KICE and saw the student projects on recycling and the protection of the environment.
A group of 30 students then spent their lunch break with Rebekha in a forum dubbed ‘Younger Mayo’ where the MP collated their concerns about the availability and reliability of telecommunications services and other island social issues, including homelessness.
After school, four Year Nine nine students attended the Young Mayo forum held at the KI Council Chambers.
Education was a hot topic and students discussed the lack of variety of work experience available to them on KI.
They also discussed the lack of skills-based training in the current curriculum with participants wanting to see a higher degree of practical skills taught to them, including completing tax returns and obtaining a loan.
“Mental Health was another important issue for young people on the island. With limited services available to them, many young people have to rely on online services for support,” Rebekha said.