Today I visited the Premier of our state, Mr Will Hodgman. It had taken me some months to arrange this and I was allotted only twenty minutes.
I arrived ten minutes early and was almost greeted at the door by Mr Hodgman, who immediately asked me to call him Will. I had received an email from him which I thought a little condescending so was all set not to like “Will”.
I was offered but declined the coffee and bikkies and we sat around the table with his advisor and I started talking – rather quickly I might add. After all I only had 20 minutes. He looked me straight in the eye which was a plus and notes were taken.
He had obviously read the paperwork which stated the problems I had at the Royal Hobart Hospital and looked genuinely surprised when I knew that our health minister was a school teacher but was given the health portfolio. He was certainly interested in the documentation I had of the waste on medications at that hospital.
We then talked about over sixties and pensions and housing. I called him on the housing crisis and the way over sixty, single women were overlooked. I wanted to know why all over sixties were treated like eggs in one basket when situations are very different.
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And before he told me that some things, like pensions, were a federal issue, I reminded him that he was my Premier and we had the fastest growing rate of older Australians in the country and he needed to stand up to the Prime Minister for us.
So we discussed the health system, pensions, housing and women. He had given me 40 minutes and he asked me what exactly I wanted him to do. I want him to stand up for me and all the “mes” in this state.
I want him to get on to the television and the newspapers and make statements to back up his statement to me that he knows these issues need to be dealt with. I want him to take ownership and do his job, not just for the young or the wealthy or the middle class family.
I want him to prove that he will help us. I want him to show us that we matter and he can and should use his position to do something for us.
Will he? He says “yes”, but only time will tell.
What would you say if you could have the floor with the premier of your state?