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Queensland health minister accuses gay health group of failure

Queensland health minister accuses gay health group of failure

Queensland health minister has delivered an unrestrained attack on the gay health group he cut funding from last year, and the previous state government, blaming them for a predicted rise in HIV infection.

‘The previous Labor government squandered the health dollar trying to buy and appease radical political lobby groups rather than investing in serious health outcomes and cultural changes,’ said Liberal state government health minister Lawrence Springborg, as reported by the Courier Mail.

Last year after the Liberal party was elected into government in Queensland, Springborg cut the funding for the only organization responsible for protecting LGBT health in the state, Queensland Association for Healthier Communities.

Thousands of people marched in protest against the decision.

Paul Martin, QAHC executive director, defended his organization from Springborg’s accusations in a recent interview with the Star Observer.

Martin questioned the data that led Springborg to predict rapid rise in HIV infection in the state. ‘Queensland rates are not "spiraling out of control", but are broadly in line with the national and international experience,’ he said.

Martin also denied Springborg’s accusation that QAHC was too political.

‘Healthy Communities was not focussed on political issues, we were and are focused on our core activity of improving the health and wellbeing of the LGBT communities of Queensland, which includes HIV and sexual health.

‘Calling for equal treatment for all Queenslanders is not "sectional" or "radical", it’s fair and just.’