David Gibson
David Gibson

MP sounds alarm over subsidy cut

A GOVERNMENT decision to cease the smoke alarm subsidy scheme for the deaf and hearing impaired is now under review after Gympie MP David Gibson forced a re-think of the change.

He said the gaffe was most likely caused by confusion within the Department of Community Safety.

On learning about the subsidy cut, Mr Gibson raised the matter with the Minister's office and learned it was not the intention of the Newman government to cut funds from lifesaving programs.

"I suspect an over zealous public servant has taken cost-saving measures too far and I commend the Minister (Jack Dempsey) for his swift response," he said.

Back in 2007, Mr Gibson raised concerns with the former minister on behalf of the deaf community to the need to install compulsory smoke alarms in all homes. This resulted in the current subsidy program.

A typical smoke alarm is undetectable by the deaf or a person with severely impaired hearing.

Smoke alarms suitable for a deaf person usually consist of a ceiling-installed smoke detector, a strobe light and a vibrating pad, however these alarm systems can cost around $500, much more than a typical smoke alarm.

The subsidy provided financial assistance to some of the most disadvantaged in our community to ensure they were safe.

Both Mr Gibson's parents are deaf and he gave his maiden speech in sign language.

He's also been instrumental in opening up the Parliament to the deaf community.

Gympie Times


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