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Sort out your priorities, Dyson

Paul Hutchison National ACC spokesman; and David Carter National Member of Parliament

2 December 2004

Sort out your priorities, Dyson

National MPs David Carter and Paul Hutchison say the ACC Minister needs to sort out her priorities to make sure the right people are getting the support they need.

They are commenting on reports that a high country farmer has been refused ACC cover because he called a rescue helicopter, rather than 111, when an employee was seriously injured at the back of his farm.

At the same time, there are other reports of a double-murderer receiving trauma counselling, which is fully funded by ACC.

"The farmer has been criticised for not calling 111, but this was a serious situation and we all know how reliable the 111 system is. The fact of the matter is this man was in big trouble and the helicopter pilot knew where he was and could get there quickly," says Mr Carter.

"The farmer pays an annual ACC premium of $5313 year but received nothing towards the $1237.39 cost of the helicopter. On the other hand the double murderer, who pays nothing, receives full cover.

"ACC say they will not pay out to the farmer because he didn't go through the proper channels, but we have heard of an incident earlier this year where a car went over a cliff at Treble Cone and the driver called air-rescue direct and received ACC cover."

Dr Hutchison says ACC can't have it both ways.

"The Minister needs to reassess her priorities and start serving the productive sectors of the country rather than the criminal element," he says.

ENDS

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