Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Ministers Remain Silent about Widower's Plight

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Ministers Remain Silent about Widower's Plight

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Easton alex.easton@northernstar.com.au

FIRST she refused to say whether she would help him, now Richmond MP and Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot is refusing to say what hoops Wilsons Creek widower Ashley Mackinnon will have to jump through before she will answer questions about his case.

Mr Mackinnon and his two children are on the verge of losing their home as they struggle with massive debts racked up during the battle to save his wife and children's mother, Leah Chapman, from breast cancer.

Mr Mackinnon has applied for help through the Federal Government's little-known medical treatment overseas program, but the application and a subsequent appeal were both refused.

When The Northern Star tried to ask Ms Elliot what she was doing or could do to help Mr Mackinnon, she refused to answer, saying Mr Mackinnon would have to provide 'formal consent' to the Department of Health and Ageing before she could discuss his case.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon used a similar answer to bat away questions. …

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