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Minister lobbies Opposition

The Sunday Telegraph February 06, 2011 12:00AM In

Extraordinary: Tourism Ministers Jodi McKay has asked the Coalition to overturn one of her own Government’s decisions.

A STATE Labor minister has written to the Coalition asking it to overturn her own government’s decision to close a disabled residential facility after the election.

The extraordinary move by Tourism Minister and Member for Newcastle Jodi McKay has left Opposition MPs scratching their heads.

In the letter to Opposition ageing and disability services spokesman Andrew Constance last week, Ms McKay referred to her government’s plans to close the Stockton Centre for disabled people, which is in her electorate. She asked the Opposition to commit to continuing disability care and services on the site.

“This issue is above politics, as the residents and their families need certainty,” Ms McKay said. “Your advice of support for the Stockton Centre would be appreciated by me and the centre’s residents and their families.”

The centre is earmarked for closure in 2018 as part of a disability services plan called Stronger Together.

The plan has been backed by Premier Kristina Keneally, who has announced several funding commitments towards achieving its goals.

Ms McKay is fighting to save her seat against Tim Owen, who has been preselected by the Liberal Party.

Although she holds the seat with a 17.9 per cent margin, the anticipated backlash against Labor has put some of the State’s safest seats in doubt.

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