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Petition gives city a voice

Monday, 20th June, 2011

JOB WELL DONE: Eve Misan and Poppy Garner collected over 9000 signatures in an effort bring the cityʼs health and aged care needs to the attention of politicians. JOB WELL DONE: Eve Misan and Poppy Garner collected over 9000 signatures in an effort bring the cityʼs health and aged care needs to the attention of politicians.

By Darrin Manuel

After three weeks of pounding the pavement hunting for signatures, aged care petition organisers Poppy Garner and Eve Misan are calling it quits.The dedicated mother and daughter team secured over 9,000 signatures in their quest to bring the city's recent aged care crisis to the attention of politicians.

Their petition was placed in over 150 locations around Broken Hill, Menindee, Ivanhoe, Wilcannia, White Cliffs and Wentworth, and both ladies said they were overwhelmed by the response generated.

"To get 9,073 from the local population is fantastic," said Ms Misan.

With the petitions all collected, Ms Misan said she would now finally be able to return home to the Gold Coast.

The former local originally returned to town for the Great Broken Hill Reunion, and stayed a few weeks extra to enjoy some painting and catch up with family and friends.

However once the plight of the city's elderly residents who were facing relocation from the hospital came to light, Ms Misan and her mother took to the streets to drum up support - a task that kept her in Broken Hill for an extra three weeks.

"It's definitely extended my holiday and cut into what I had planned back home, but it's all been worth it," she said

"If we were paid by the hour we'd be ready to retire. We put a lot of hours in, but we were happy to do it and now we can stop worrying.

"We'd just like to say a big 'thank you' to all the locals, visitors and everyone in the surrounding districts for their support."

Ms Garner said the support of local people had provided a welcome boost across three weeks of tiring volunteer work.

"We've had people coming up to us all the time," she said.

"One lady, a nursing sister who I've known for many years, came up to us and she was very happy and exuberant and thanked us. That was lovely."

Although the ladies were initially hoping to reach 10,000 signatures to have the petition tabled in State parliament, they said they were happy with the current numbers collected, and would prefer to see the petitions taken straight to federal government officials

The stack of petitions will now be passed on to the office of Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon.

"Let's hope the voice of Broken Hill roars like a lion in the House of Representatives," said Ms Misan.

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