Five People who won the Federal Budget Lobbying Game
Monday, May 14, 2012
The Power Index in its post Federal Budget report asked the question, "So whose lobbying power really struck this year's Federal Budget?" Among the five chosen was Dr Shane Fyer, President of the Australian Dental Association.
The report stated:
A decent federal government dental spend has been a long time coming, so Dr Shane Fryer from the Australian Dental Association can breathe a small sigh of relief.
The ADA has lobbied hard for federal spending to assist in granting low-income earners access to dental services, pushing for a Dental Access scheme to specifically target the 30% of Australians who do not currently visit a dentist.
Their efforts have somewhat paid off, with the treasurer announcing $500 million for dental care over the next four years (although it's not all new funding).
Still, while the ADA has cause to celebrate, its full list of recommendations have by no means been taken on and they're declaring this a "first step in a much longer process". Indeed, the money promised can only go so far to assist with long dental waiting lists and poor dental health in regional and remote areas.
Current Wollongong-based president Dr Shane Fryer was aided in these lobbying efforts by his predecessor Dr Neil Hewson, who helped create ADA's access scheme policy push.
As the report has indicated, what has been achieved to date is only an initial step in a much longer campaign. It does however indicate that the ADA has been successful in having government recognise the value and worth of targeting their funding to that portion of the population that struggle financially to access care. The ADA needs to continue to push this line to ensure that what additional action is taken will address the long-term needs of this sector of the population. What must be delivered to this group are effective, sustainable services not just the quick-fix cheap short-term solution that has so often been the approach adopted by governments.
Chief Executive Officer
 The Power Index is led by Paul Barry – one of the country's most respected investigative journalists. Its team of reporters and editors in Sydney and Melbourne follow trends in power on a daily basis and will name the most powerful people in Australia.