Cuts that cost an arm and a leg

News story iconWe apologise in advance for that terrible pun but sometimes you literally couldn’t make this stuff up. The Brisbane Times reports the story of Matthew Ames, a Brisbane man who lost all four limbs after a streptococcal infection who is about to do a 5km charity run.

It’s to raise money for the Amputees and Families Support Group Queensland (AFSGQ for short). That in and of itself is a pretty impressive achievement (we’ve banned the word “inspiring” on this website).

However, it’s the reason why the charity run is needed that’s depressing. The support group is about to lose all state government funding – cuts that may literally cost an arm an a leg.

From the article:

But it’s the reason he’s planning to “roll’’ – his word not mine – the five kilometre route that should stop us in our tracks.

It’s to raise money for the Amputees and Families Support Group Queensland (AFSGQ), which have been told it is about to lose all state Government funding.

And it’s hard to imagine a more telling example of the disconnect between the role of government and our community than this case; where the government is stripping a small amputee support group of its annual $46,000 funding.

Cossette Thompson, AFSGQ’s state coordinator, says the organisation was visited by State Government officials who had advised them they need to provide a document by the end of next month on how they plan to adopt a new funding model.

If that plan is feasible, the Government has agreed to continue funding AFSGQ until December next year, when financial assistance will stop.

AFSGQ has one part-time worker, and it takes up to 10,000 phone calls each year. One of those was from Matthew’s family, as he lay in a hospital bed planning a future without arms and legs.

The amount of funding ($46,000) is a trifle in the grand scheme of things.

It’s just another small example of how the Queensland government’s “Strong Choices” are sometimes “wrong choices.”

Original article:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/limbless-man-to-roll-5km-to-highlight-lack-of-funding-20140820-3e0th.html