People keen to sign for Medicare
by Marie Lean The experience of collecting signatures to the Save Medicare petitions in Adelaide shows that people are particularly worried about the fate of bulk billing and they are keen to put their names down to help save it. Port Adelaide Branch members hit the streets of Semaphore on Saturday, September 6 and collected about 200 signatures even though they said there were not many people about. Central Branch members collected signatures at the Hiroshima Day public meeting and the monthly meeting of the Retired Union Members' Association. An ALP Guardian reader has so far collected three sheets of signatures outside her local shopping centre and asked for more copies of the petition. Petitions have been placed inside The Guardian and also sent to subscribers who receive the The Guardian by mail from Sydney. Two have responded — one with one and a quarter pages of signatures. The second person filled one sheet and has phoned for another which he soon filled and returned. The Union of Australian Women has a petition circulating too. One member took a petition to her Aqua exercise class and got the participants to sign. She also left a petition at her hairdressers and it was filled within the week. Spurred on, she then left petitions at the chemists, the bottle shop and the greengrocers. Her score so far is hairdresser two sheets, chemist two sheets, bottle shop two sheets and six sheets at the greengrocers! It is obviously by results so far that there is a groundswell of people who want to defend Medicare. The whole of the trade union movement and community groups need to get involved before it is too late. People want to stop the destruction of Medicare.
The new star in Auburn
by Yan Xing For the last few months the newly formed Auburn Branch of the CPA has been active in the campaign to save Medicare and to reopen the local dental clinic which was free for children under 18 years of age. Health is very important in everybody's life. Nearly 90 percent of Chinese migrants signed the petition and they said the CPA is the party which is working for the working class people. This is the first time they have seen a CPA member in Australia. They believe that the Party will help the local people to do something to make the place better and bring new ideas and changes to Auburn. The local dental clinic was closed down by the State Government and Medicare will go unless we save it. We are doing everything we can. We want the country to start hearing the people's voice. People have the right to know why the dental service was closed without any notice to the local people. It has made everybody worry. How many other services will be treated the same as the dental clinic and be closed down? One old lady held my hand and said: "As an Australian I worked all my life for this country, but now when I am old. I have to go to the doctor twice every week and now I have to pay and will have no food to eat after paying the doctor". One man said, "I know you are communists. I believe in God. I believe all of you do the right thing for the people, God will help you". The CPA is the new star in Auburn. We are working together with all the different parties and people with different backgrounds to make Auburn a new, fresh city in Australia.
What you can do to save Medicare * Write to your ALP, Democrat Senators and demand they join with the Greens to block Howard's changes; * Get your union or community group to adopt a resolution to retain Medicare and send it to the Government, the ALP, the Democrats and Greens; * Contact the CPA for leaflets and our Save Medicare petition. Get your friends, neighbours and relatives to sign it. Ask your local shopkeepers to have the petition on their counter. Run a street stall and collect signatures; * Write to your local newspaper or contact your favourite radio/TV station. Make it known that you want Medicare to stay.