Greens senator pays his own way

Greens senator Richard Di Natale is funding his own Ebola fact-finding mission to Africa.

Greens’ senator pays his own way

Greens senator Richard Di Natale, who was denied Federal Government assistance to visit Ebola devastated regions, says he will pay his own way to go to West Africa instead.

Earlier this month, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, knocked back his request for consular assistance in Africa, saying said she would not "divert scarce resources from the High Commission in Ghana … on the frontline of Australia's Ebola response".

Senator Richard Di Natale said he would undertake his proposed fact-finding mission with the assistance of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"My aim is to get in there, speak to the people co-ordinating the response, find out what they need and come back and start advocating for it," he said.

"I'm not particularly concerned about my own health because I'm unlikely to come into contact with anyone who is being treated for Ebola. I'm more concerned about the 35-hour flight."

Mr Di Natale worked as a GP and public health specialist before entering politics, making him somewhat uniquely qualified to provide both political and medical feedback regarding Australia’s frontline efforts on the Ebola crisis. He leaves on Saturday for Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two worst affected countries.

Senator Di Natale will meet WHO officials and other non-government organisations which are fighting the spread of the deadly disease. He has also made an offical request to managing director Glenn Keys to officially request assistance while visiting the site of Australia's Ebola response.

He is paying his own way there and co-ordinating his own transport, accommodation and logistics while in Africa.

Read more about this story at SMH.com.au

Opinion: Di Natale an example for others

The Ebola crisis is a polarising subject for Australians, with arguments both for and against being hotly debated in Parliament, the media and the community.

All controversy aside, it is refreshing to see a political leader who believes in a certain course of action and who is determined to get something done. Senator Di Natale seems to be a forward thinking, progressive politician, who won’t let the lack of Government assistance stop him from acting on what he believes should be Australia’s response to this deadly epidemic.

While Ms Bishop was lecturing other countries on the Ebola response – yet promising little assistance – Mr Di Natale was whipping out the credit card and booking flights to Africa to find out how Australia can really help.

Mr Di Natale has had his share of the media spotlight lately, with his ‘Dying with dignity’ bill being debated in Parliament this month, as well as his name attached to the proposed legalisation of medical marijuana, which will be introduced to Parliament next week.

His progressive thinking should put him in a positive light with Australian voters, during a time when the major party leaders seem stilted, inneffective, and well, a little bit embarassing. His actions are a positive example of how political action could be, should we vote for true change.

What do you think? Do you respect Mr Di Natale for his actions? Do you think Australia needs to do more to assist Ebola-ridden countries? Or do you think we should just leave it up to them to help themselves?





    COMMENTS

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    24th Nov 2014
    9:19am
    What facts does he hope to uncover that the UN and our own consular staff already know,,This is grandstanding and I hope he is kept in isolation for 21 days on his return ..,
    Daffoir
    24th Nov 2014
    11:38am
    spot on
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    12:40pm
    This is just a stunt. Self-promotion.
    Abby
    24th Nov 2014
    1:40pm
    Senator Di Natale should be ashamed of himself - he had the hide to ask for taxpayer money for his own venture and gain.

    You would not believe he had an electorate to look after - just proves how little these politicians do jetting around the world making pollution.

    WHO and UN know exactly what is needed.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:47pm
    WHO UN vited Him ?

    24th Nov 2014
    10:13am
    Why can't he just ask WHO what is needed?
    dougie
    24th Nov 2014
    12:28pm
    Exactly. They are the experts.
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    12:44pm
    The World Health Organisation, I would suspect, is another fat cat organisation that depends on its existence and funding by issuing press releases now and then on issues like the Ebola Crisis. I 'd expect their answer to trood's question would be to "Send (us) more money!
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    12:50pm
    You cannot Contract Ebola over the Phone !
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    12:55pm
    How about a microphone?
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    12:59pm
    He can borrow one of them off Good Luck Johnny when He gets there !!
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    2:19pm
    Actually Wally they have asked for more resources not money!
    Jen
    24th Nov 2014
    10:27am
    What a breath of fresh air from the usual run of greedy, grasping, lying, scamming cheats we're used to in Government.
    Oldie87
    24th Nov 2014
    12:40pm
    WooHoo, Jen
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    12:53pm
    Speaking of WooHoo ! Ill bet WHO's Commander doesn't go near the Joint ??
    Oldie87
    24th Nov 2014
    2:53pm
    You bet !
    Oldie87
    24th Nov 2014
    10:37am
    I do not respect Mr Di Natale for his actions. He is just big-noting himself.
    I do agree that we as a Nation must help but I think that our measured steps are the correct way to go. Just how would the public react if our Government simply ordered troops and other star to go and came back infected. Contrary to some opinions the world is a lot larger than just the USA and us. Let this be a combined world effort.
    Can some-one tell me why we have not taken earlier outbreaks more seriously and why we are not on the way to producing an antidote. I recall a lot of news years ago.
    Oldie87
    24th Nov 2014
    10:38am
    staff (sorry)
    Bes
    24th Nov 2014
    10:53am
    Ditto Oldie81, For as long as I can remember in my 70 years the world has been pouring money into Africa for little result, other than resources being robbed.
    The church's etc arrive and along with the aid workers to teach them about god and how to live like us!
    At that time they were dying naturally in thousands due to the conditions they had lived in since time began and showed little in the way of altering their way of life.
    Well now they die in millions and we are still expected to pour money into Africa along with other countries who require 'aid'.
    The $$$'s are getting scarce across the globe and I wish Mr Di Natale luck and hope to see him at Centrelink when his savings are spent!
    Although I think he will fall back on his super, pension and gold card like the rest of them!
    Ageing but not Old
    24th Nov 2014
    11:40am
    Oldie81 - re: why we (the World) hadn't pursued a cure/vaccine before largely because prior outbreaks generally were restricted to a maximum of a few hundred people (dying?) contracting it, in one or two isolated areas of Africa. This is the first time the outbreak has spread to three different countries, in both isolated and more densely populated communities. Also, the animal/ animals that 'started' the infection were generally identified; this time, it's not so clear, and it has spread much more widely from person to person, onto a number of other countries. So: it's sheer numbers of people now potentially being infected, and WHERE they are being infected. Frankly, most developed nations didn't really worry about it before now. They've mostly had the opinion expressed by Bes.
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    1:48pm
    Oldie81, there have been previous outbreaks of Ebola that have been contained by those on the ground. For some reason, this time those same people underestimated the seriousness of the outbreak and the Governments involved were slow to act in quarantining the affected areas.

    Ebola is a virus and as such finding a vaccine is very difficult. Think about the flu- we still don't have a vaccine for that virus that kills millions every year world wide. Or HIV for that matter. We have been searching for an HIV vaccine for well over 30 years and still don't have one.
    buby
    24th Nov 2014
    10:13pm
    lol@bes don't worry about DiNatale, geez his family has got to much money anyway he will probably claim back in tax anyway lol. Poor fool trying to big note himself.
    Wish he had the brains to stay home and fix the local problems.
    and true what you say they have been pouring millions into africa since the dawn of time, hasn't really helped much it seems. I think their government just rakes in the money and bad luck about the ppl. It just leaves them to struggle on?? very sad indeed. and so should the politicans of the World STay HOME and work out ya problems there before venturing out, and bragging about this that and the other.
    INstead of learning how to stress out ya own ppl and making their world worse???
    particolor
    25th Nov 2014
    9:00am
    They have nearly as big a Problem in Africa with Procal Harem trying to take over !!
    Simo
    24th Nov 2014
    10:53am
    if he is Really serious about what he says he is going then good on him and as he 1s Medically qualified then he maybe he is likely to get more info than Julie Bishop ( Who I personally dislike ) ( can't stand the woman!! ) and any way it is still Tax PAYERS MONEY we are paying him .
    EELS
    24th Nov 2014
    11:30am
    Why hasn't DOCTOR Di Natale gone to treat the victims if he is such a caring man? His show of 'compassion' is so transparent. Political grandstanding over such a tragedy . Shameless.
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    12:47pm
    Let's hope his qualification will help him to avoid being infected. That wouldn't be a nice gift to bring back to us and spread it around here, would it... And all just to demonstrate his own moral superiority.
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    12:47pm
    And a couple of other "sideline yappers" ought to go with Senator di Natale. Tanya Plibersik being one and the head of the Australian Medical Association being the other.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    12:56pm
    Ill help them pack their bags ! But I wont help them Unpack them if they get back !!
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    1:52pm
    BobK I wish that were true. However, in studies done in hospitals, doctors are shown time and again to ignore infection control and prevention protocols. Nurses do far better with compliance.
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    2:10pm
    That's what I think as well - EELS
    As a GP & a public health specialist, he is just going on a fact finding excerise,
    finding out what they need, then coming home & advocating for it.

    He could contact people while in Australia, & get the same info & advocate for it.
    buby
    24th Nov 2014
    10:14pm
    INdeed Eels i agree
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    11:46am
    Leon, do not agree with your sentiments of "....during a time when the major party leaders
    seem stilted, inneffective, & well, a little embarressing."
    What's wrong with planning ahead, making sure about safety precautions & the best possible
    outcomes for those Aussies unfortunate enough to contract the disease ?
    I think the "how" & "when" of our contribution was handled in a professinal, caring way.
    EELS
    24th Nov 2014
    12:07pm
    Spot on!
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    2:37pm
    EELS - I, and many people I know agree with you.
    njcraig
    24th Nov 2014
    11:51am
    Congratulations to a politician/medical doctor who is prepared to study at first hand the problems associated with controlling and containing the virus in West Africa. It makes more sense than our government's Health Minister statement that we'll deal with it when it comes to our region. Why let it come to our region if it can be contained? Neil
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    12:58pm
    Let us hope his first hand studies do not include his contracting the virus. Although I must admit the notion of an outbreak Ebola virus in the Federal Senate does have a certain appeal!
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    1:01pm
    Especially if they quarantine the Senators in the Senate chamber for 21 days!
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:01pm
    I wonder if they know it is Air Bourne now ??
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    2:28pm
    They know its Christmas though! Bob told them.
    Ming
    24th Nov 2014
    11:51am
    Well he just might contribute more to the world by staying there than returning and continue to inhibit the Australian economy by supporting green policies. Will he be required to spend 21 days in isolation on his return?

    24th Nov 2014
    11:52am
    Di Natale has my respect he is acting on behalf of many people's concerns and putting Bills forward which many want and not just following a party political agenda. Considering his background his opinion will be of value. Pretty mean spirited for him to have been denied endorsement and fares by the Government when so much money has been wasted for instance on costs for attending sporting events in the past and this is a major world disasters still unfolding and an on the ground medical opinion will be extremely valuable.
    ghoti
    24th Nov 2014
    12:58pm
    I agree, Vivity. Apparently it was OK for a government polly and his wife to fly from Perth across the country to check on an investment property in Queensland but it's not OK for a non-gov polly to fly to Africa to try to make a difference to a health crisis that might yet engulf us all.
    wally
    27th Nov 2014
    8:43pm
    And use a government supplied car to use to drive around flogging hair care products.
    Mar
    24th Nov 2014
    11:56am
    This is a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't). Some think it's grandstanding, others will applaud him. Our Government continues to avoid the issue although lecturing others on how to respond. Personally I applaud him as he is "putting his money where his mouth is". Who cares if he is big noting himself,at least he is doing something.
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    12:58pm
    Sorry, I cannot see that 'something' that he is doing.
    His contribution to studying the Ebola issues will be in the same category as was Janet Rice's contribution to study Global Warming on her trip to Antarctica in December 2013 - you remember the "Ship-of-fools"? There was no benefits in that trip, only endangering her own life, and wasted millions to get her (and the other fools) out of danger.
    But the claimed intentions were good and noble then, just as they are now.
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    1:58pm
    Exactly ! BobK
    Mar
    24th Nov 2014
    12:13pm
    I agree Leon, our major party leaders are ineffective and embarrassing. Our government reflects the growing self-centredness of our society.Whatever happened to compassion, giving to and caring of others. Australians were once known for their compassion. We have to vote for change.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:03pm
    I thought they Did ???
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    1:21pm
    There is plenty of compassion around, but this is serious: people keep dying of Ebola. Maybe we should start being compassionate towards our own fellow citizens by trying not to infect them just because we want to show our moral superiority.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:23pm
    Hear Hear !!
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    2:00pm
    Agree ! particolor & BobK
    Pushkin2
    24th Nov 2014
    12:18pm
    I understand that the 21 day isolation is only applicable if symptoms show. Ebola is not like most bacterial or viral diseases as it is not aerially infectious but can only be caught through infected fluids like blood, saliva etc. getting into the bloodstream. Taking appropriate precautions will prevent infection and as a doctor Senator di Natalie will be aware of the risk and also the symptoms of the disease.

    As to whether he should go, I wish more members of Parliament would volunteer so that our current government would be convinced to do more to counter this terrible world-wide threat. Saying our overworked and under staffed High Commissions and consulates in the region have the matter in hand is just another excuse for the government to do as little as possible.
    Hasbeen
    24th Nov 2014
    12:20pm
    What grandstanding bits of garbage these Greens are.

    I doubt this twit could understand which way was up, let alone what we could do to stop people eating monkeys.
    ghoti
    24th Nov 2014
    12:46pm
    What a grandstanding bit of garbage you are, Hasbeen. Di Natale a twit? He's a caring and compassionate highly-trained medico who's working hard to help people like you who, for example, stupidly and ignorantly froth at the mouth at people smarter than them. You might not like the Greens generally, but to denigrate individual members as garbage is grossly unfair and offensive.
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    12:54pm
    Hi ghoti. If Senator di Natale is such a saint, what is he doing in Parliament, when he could be out in the community working as a GP and bulk billing his patients? Maybe the prospect of getting his snout in the Senate trough was too tempting for him.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:08pm
    WHO ordered the double helping of Raw Flying Fox Meat ??
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:17pm
    Enough of that Talk I'm climbing into an Active Volcano while its Erupting to find out Why ??
    ghoti
    24th Nov 2014
    1:27pm
    Wally: maybe the prospect of adding his snout to the others in the Senate trough proved too tempting. Maybe not. I don't know. Neither do you. But his record suggests that he felt he could make more of a difference in parliament than as a GP. He doesn't have to go to Africa (it seems, from the reactions on this site, that he's than attracting more odium than applause). He didn't have to come up with his "Dying with Dignity" bill. He could simply sit in the Senate, look after his investment properties, and occasionally fly off on a tax-payer-funded trip to a wedding somewhere.
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    1:30pm
    I agree, Hasbeen. This is just another empty gesture that may end up in tears if just one little virus makes it across Australian border alive.
    Abby
    24th Nov 2014
    1:51pm
    ghoti

    De Natale could go and volunteer like other doctors to help look after the people infected with Ebola if he wants some ground experience and be quarantined afterwards.
    Except he is just trying to big note himself ..after all he is a politician.

    I am sure they would not knock back his GP expertise.
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    1:57pm
    I agree Abby. He could have just quietly taken himself there, no demand for taxpayer funds, consulate protection/transport and the rest. Just simply volunteered for the duration of the Christmas break from Parliament.

    But then that wouldn't have got him any headlines would it?
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    2:00pm
    I just Donated 2 bags of clothes to Vinnies ! But I didn't put it on a Public Site for all to see !!
    Wait a Minute ? I think I did ?
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    2:07pm
    ghoti. I hope that the good Senator does not catch anything during his visit which will give him first hand experience of dying. (with or without dignity.)
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    9:41pm
    .. "A Return to Africa Please !"... " I'm sorry Sir but You can only get a Single Ticket due to unforseen Circumstances !"
    nan
    24th Nov 2014
    12:23pm
    Give credit where it's due.
    dougie
    24th Nov 2014
    12:26pm
    He will not unearth anything that has been hidden from the Government. How can he?
    Australia may not seem to be doing much but every time there is a world event we are expected to contribute in dollars and on the ground assistance and we generally do. Just how much has Australia contributed this year in cash and kind? We could probably do more if the Senate would allow the Government Budget through to ensure the maximum funds are available.
    I am a firm believer that when people are starving that our donations are made up of food purchased through our own agencies and delivered for UN or Proxy UN agencies and that there must be some control of who gets what to ensure the greatest good for all. This is often not the case.
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    2:42pm
    I would find it hard to disagree with you, Dougie.
    EELS
    24th Nov 2014
    2:53pm
    I agree.
    Polly Esther
    24th Nov 2014
    12:31pm
    I think he is a selfish tree hugging green elf with a gigantic ego.
    There I've built the man up now, didn't mean to.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:09pm
    I hope He Hugs You on His Return !!
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    12:38pm
    Good on Senator di Natale! With all the noise and nonsense the Labor minister, mouthpiece and attack dog Tanya Plibersik has made about demanding the Australian government to rush to west Africa in the recent past, I look forward to reading/hearing of her joining Senator di Natale in this fact finding venture
    . Likewise the head "mouthpiece" of the Australian Medical Association said he wanted Australia to rush to send medical staff there to stem the Ebola crisis. If, like Tanya Plibersik, he feels so strongly about this, he should volunteer to offer his medical expertise in combatting the Ebola virus and go to Sierra Leone as well, instead of yapping about it from the sidelines. At least a man with his medical qualifications and expertise might perform a useful service there. How useful the good Senator might prove to be remains to be seen. Will the good minister Plibersik join the Anti Ebola Crusade she so loudly and publicly promoted? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    2:36pm
    Arriving in Africa, with all his medical knowledge -
    with so many people needing help,
    & Di Natale just wants to ask questions ?
    Arrogance & ignorance at work.
    Supernan
    24th Nov 2014
    12:53pm
    The reason Ebola has not been controlled is no-one cared enough - only the dedicated few have been fighting it, with too few people, too few resources & too few facilities. Organisatipons such as Medicine without Borders, World Vision, etc have been appealing for help to fight it for about 50 years. It has spread due to population increases, more clearing & opening up of rainforest & tribal areas. Also with more contact with people & other virus, the disease has evolved more aggressive strains.
    The current Governements are just throwing money at the problem. What is the use of money if there is no-one to pay ? Or materials & drugs to buy. They need people to bury the contaminated dead safely, to nurse the sick who can be saved, places to isolate the sick & recovering & those who have been in contact with the sick. There are people volunteering to go if the Gov will help them get there. People are willing to donate medicines if they know what is needed & the Gov will send them. Money will help but it takes too long for money to go through the authorities & buy the stuff & organise it. They need before Christmas or it will be too late.
    wally
    25th Nov 2014
    11:37pm
    Would you say the same thing about AIDS 30 years ago?
    wally
    25th Nov 2014
    11:40pm
    It looks as if both epidemics are not as simple as we could hope. finding out how to cure these outbreaks is not as simple as we could wish. It isn't quite the same as putting out a grass fire in the paddock.
    Adrianus
    26th Nov 2014
    8:30am
    Supernan, Ebola is also spread by ignorance. One of the local funeral customs is to poor water over the dead Ebola victim and all those in attendance to drink the run off.
    particolor
    26th Nov 2014
    11:44am
    Avoid Catchment Areas !!
    Tom Tank
    24th Nov 2014
    1:07pm
    It is rather staggering to read the obviously right wing derision being directed at someone who is trying to do the proper thing. He is not just sitting down at meetings and telling others what they should do, as our pollies are currently doing, but getting to the "coalface" itself to find out what is really happening.
    Ebola has the potential to threaten us all if not checked and this man is doing his bit at his own cost. Good on him.
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    2:21pm
    I am sorry, but would you please elaborate on what is the 'proper thing' that he is doing? Like "getting to the coalface to find out what is really happening"? Isn't there enough information on that? One didn't need to go to Fukushima coalface to find out what was happening, there was enough information then, as there is now. Just use Internet and Google. Is he going there to help patients as a specialist doctor? No, he is going there as a politician, who used to be a General Practitioner, but that is many years ago now. I presume he is intending to come back, and potentially bring back with him the "...Ebola [that] has the potential to threaten us all if not checked and this man is doing his bit...". His bit - what is that bit, other than improving his politician's CV?
    I hope I am not the only one who can see little or no benefits, yet potential for creating huge problems, even fatalities, in his stunt.
    freehawk33
    24th Nov 2014
    1:20pm
    A good move by Richard Di Natale. He should become more informed of the situation and options for helping and be able to constructively conribute to the consideration of how Australia can help, on his return. Also he is setting an example to the other politicians and the general public in not relying on a government handout for the trip.
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    2:06pm
    Freehawk, He wanted public funding and other assistance from the Consulate when he got there. He was refused! That is the only reason he is now funding himself. It was not his first choice.
    wally
    24th Nov 2014
    2:10pm
    The refusal of consular assistance only enhances Dr. di Natale's good guy/martyr status in the eyes of his fans.
    EELS
    24th Nov 2014
    2:56pm
    Yep and yep Wally & KSS.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:22pm
    "Help !!"
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    2:47pm
    You shouldn't NEVER drink dehydrated water again!
    No wonder you cry for help...
    particolor
    26th Nov 2014
    11:47am
    I cant even put Run Off in it now after Franks Post ??
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    1:39pm
    Given Mr Di Natale's medical and public health background and experience in working in 3rd world countries, I can see why he may have a particular interest in this situation. However, like others, I cannot see how Mr Di Natale rushing off to Africa will uncover any more information on the Ebola crisis than has already been described not only by WHO but also other aid agencies already there. If Mr Di Natale has questions he would like to ask, he would be able to contact the people he wants to talk to by a variety of telecommunication channels.

    Supernan and others have already enumerated the list of requirements from well documented information already in the public domain. So unless he is prepared to deliver on all of that, personally handing it over, I agree this trip is little more than grandstanding.

    Having said that, he is having to pay for himself so that makes it a private trip. As such he is entitled to go wherever, whenever he wants. As long as I am not paying for his junket, I don't care where he takes his holidays. And I don't need to see his holiday snaps when he gets back. I have already seen the conditions from other sources.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    1:52pm
    Yes lets be fair on the Man !! He may have a secret cure that He hasn't Divulged yet ??
    dougie
    24th Nov 2014
    1:52pm
    You are so right KSS and as it is a private trip then he should not be making a public thing of it. He has every right to go and to see but if it is private then that is the way it should be kept.

    No kudos from me - donate his fare and costs to the fight against Ebola, then he would be doing something.
    Abby
    24th Nov 2014
    1:56pm
    I agree with you KSS

    One would think De Natale had an electorate to look after ???

    So even if he does pay his own fare the taxpayer will still cop his salary.
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    2:23pm
    As usual, the lefties don't seem to be able to think things through ?
    They just see the headlines -they don't ask questions ?
    why is he going? what for? what expertise will he be able to provide?
    What is his donation towards the crisis -?
    There's enough chiefs there - they need more indians.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    2:38pm
    On the Banks !
    Of the River !
    Stood Running Bear !!................
    dougie
    24th Nov 2014
    2:52pm
    Maybe just maybe he will take the Senator Jaquie Lambie with him. If they visit an area where Ebola is active then they may not be allowed back into our great country for some time!
    Adrianus
    25th Nov 2014
    9:09am
    dougie, now there is someone who may be able to get government funding for the trip.
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    2:15pm
    I wonder whether he was able to get travel/health insurance seeing as he is deliberately going to areas infected with high prevalence of a contagious disease?

    If not, and if he gets sick or even injures himself e.g. in a car accident, who will pay then?
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    2:36pm
    Clive ??
    EELS
    24th Nov 2014
    3:29pm
    Good point KSS. Julie Bishop reminded him of that circumstance. I hope he took heed.
    hippymarl
    24th Nov 2014
    2:47pm
    I think he is a most admirable person, intelligent, well informed, and like many of us curling with shame at the tardy way Australia has responded to this matter. Julie Bishop is a mean spirited, small minded person in regards to this matter. Requests from respected organizations for help from trained personnel rather than just money have been disregarded by our current Government for obviously trumped up reasons. He is putting his own money up to provide an honest, transparent assessment of how we can best help, both from a humanitarian and Medical perspective. I wish him well, and thank him so much for this outstanding offer. A most generous and worth while effort.
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    3:06pm
    He had to go Tony and Co wouldn't tell Him anything ? Just like us !!
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    3:14pm
    I disagree the requests have gone unanswered. Australia is giving $24 million dollars to set up, staff and run facilities for treating Ebola. This was on top of the $18 million already committed. I don't think this is mean spirited at all.

    The main delay was in ensuring there were adequate evacuation routes for Australian health professionals should the need arise. It is one thing being flown for 8 hours to appropriate care (say USA or Europe) quite another being flown for 30 hours to Australia. Even our armed forces are flown to places like Germany for treatment before being flown home. Why should the medical professionals be treated differently?
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    4:33pm
    I'm glad you've brought those facts to some peoples' attention, KSS
    Polly Esther
    25th Nov 2014
    4:13pm
    There are a few green trolls getting about
    particolor
    25th Nov 2014
    5:40pm
    All I've noticed is Patting each other on the Back ??
    wally
    25th Nov 2014
    11:34pm
    Hi hippy. If you feel so ashamed of us all, perhaps you could accompany the good Dr di Natale to West Africa as a representative of us old folks. Your contribution (at your own expense, of course,) would be roundly applauded.
    Mar
    24th Nov 2014
    2:55pm
    Spot on hippo marl. Good to hear a decent comment.
    miss aisle
    24th Nov 2014
    4:37pm
    who are you calling a hippo, Mar ?

    24th Nov 2014
    3:05pm
    Well done senator di natale. there are still just a few politicians with integrity.
    EELS
    24th Nov 2014
    3:31pm
    A Green with integrity! They are all about seeming and not doing! More of the same here or he would have slipped out quietly with no publicity.
    wally
    25th Nov 2014
    11:42pm
    A greenie with integrity would have to a contradiction in terms!

    24th Nov 2014
    3:05pm
    Well done senator di natale. there are still just a few politicians with integrity.
    Oldie87
    25th Nov 2014
    11:21am
    Green and Integrity is an oxymoron.
    particolor
    26th Nov 2014
    11:39am
    An Oxymoron is an Oxymoron !
    wally
    27th Nov 2014
    8:48pm
    "Oxlike" moron?
    jaybee
    24th Nov 2014
    3:36pm
    Hmm; according to this government, the public should pay for the PM to attend his sporting and party political fund raising functions, pay for government ministers to attend rugby league games, pay for an LNP member to fly across the continent to purchase some land for himself, fund LNP members to attend the weddings of their shock-jock mates et al.
    Unfortunately, it adds to the government's current portfolio of lies and hypocracy.

    24th Nov 2014
    4:22pm
    Dr Di Natale needs to refer to the WHO and other expert NGO folk, who have the information. He's wasting time And money and could just be a nuisance when everyone in involved in Ebola crisis is working so hard -
    While his 'heart' may be in the right place ....his actions within our own parliament..should be more constructive and consciousness raising...
    Pushkin2
    24th Nov 2014
    4:25pm
    Jeeze, all these shrinking violets pulling down a tall poppy - makes ya wanna rip up the paddock and plant Mary Jane ...
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    7:25pm
    Google Byron Bay Crops !!
    wildwombat
    24th Nov 2014
    4:25pm
    All credit to Senator Di Natale on his decision to visit to assess the Ebola crisis in Africa _before_ it reaches our shores or region.

    Also for his speeches to the Australian Senate about having the courage in politics to stick your neck out on issues that are controversial or taboo, specifically about medicinal cannabis and dying with dignity, two issues that he has personally tried to progress recently.

    It's disappointing that so many of the comments on this forum re Senator Di Natale seem to be coloured by his membership of the Greens party, not by the apparent integrity of the man's behaviour in comparison with many of his fellow politicians from all parties.

    Ps. Australia govt made no offer of men on the ground till it was shamed into doing so by other nations' actions and the UN's words. Absence of evacuation routes for sick staff was a complete furphy, we were fed a lie since means of evacuation of infected workers, as used by US and European countries, was known to be available to Australians for many weeks before our govt finally and belatedly agreed to provide medical staff and knowledge, as specifically requested (not money). Even Cuba, one of the economically poorest countries in the world, rose to the occasion with over one hundred trained personnel sent early in the crisis, and if my memory serves me, an unlikely agreement with the US to evacuate staff who became ill during their service.

    Together with Abbott's insistent and loud climate denial, our haste in joining US to put boots on the ground in the Iraq war- a complex battle-ground mess which we helped create, understand little, and will be almost impossible from which to extract ourselves- our world standing has justly become pretty woeful, made worse by our reluctance to provide medical services (for which there was no shortage of qualified Australian volunteers) in Ebola-stricken African countries despite repeated pleas.

    Could we examine these issues a little beyond our own little backyard and our particular selfish interests before cynically condemning Di Natale for having the integrity to spend his own funds to do the right thing, by contrast with many of his political colleagues who corruptly help themselves.
    BobK
    24th Nov 2014
    7:21pm
    Interesting view, Wombat.

    I don't believe that the absence of evacuation routes was a furphy. That's ABC's line, and they are known to tell only selected parts of the truth, unfortunately.

    There was lot of noise from Labor and Greens about how terrible Abbot was, but none of those enraged MPs and Senators took even the smallest step to REALLY help those in Africa. No, teir desire was not to help, their desire was to paint Abbott in black colours. Had they spent just half of that time to talk to charities, try to convince their rich donors, or talk to the "WHO officials and other non-government organisations", as Mr. Di Natale is doing, maybe they could have secured enough resources for their army of volunteers to provide real help. Would Abbott's government refuse to give them exit visas? Would they be somehow prevented from leaving the country? No, you don't think so either, do you.

    After all, the WHO stands for WORLD Health Organisation, so why not let it do what it was created for. It is, after all, funded with money that Australia contributes, too (although sometimes I wonder what we and the WORLD really get in return). Whether Mr Di Natale's trip is good for the Ebola sufferers is, in my mind, questionable: could additional supply of medicines be of more benefits to them than one more of these "fact-finding" missions?

    And yet, I wouldn't be surprised at all, if one day in the future it turned out that there was this person, nurse or doctor, or group of people who were there, right in the epicentre, treating patients with their own hands, and helping them to survive. I wouldn't be. Because those who are really trying to help, usually don't scream about it to let the world know of their goodness. They just do it, quietly and often at the high personal price. And they don't give a damn about what worlds Shortens, Pliberseks, or Abbotts for that matter, think.
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    7:22pm
    We are talking about a single issue here, Mr Di Natale's trip to Ebola areas of Africa. It is disingenuous to claim he is some sort of martyr for not using taxpayers money to pay for it. The only reason he is paying his own way is that he was denied funding and other assistance. That does not make him a person of integrity.

    Other speeches he may have made or bills introduced have no relevance to this particular topic. And before you attack me, I happen to agree with some of those positions he has taken - the right to die for example and medicinal cannabis. But again they have no relevance to this particular debate.
    Mar
    24th Nov 2014
    5:45pm
    Excellent appraisal wild wombat!
    edly
    24th Nov 2014
    5:55pm
    Just amazed at the negativity of some of you lot. If he was a Liberal then praise would be forthcoming. Just remember back to the compliments for Abbott when undertaking a taxpayers funded trip to Aboriginal communities to supposedly do volunteer work. Reconsidering, no not amazed. Just the blinkered attitude of many that cannot see past the libs.
    KSS
    24th Nov 2014
    7:34pm
    Spending time in an Aboriginal community is something Mr Abbott has done for several years. Plus it was a commitment to continue he made when he became PM.The only reason we heard about it this year was because the trip was interrupted by other issues such as the IS situation.

    Just the blinkered attitude of one who refuses to give credit where it is due are you Ted?
    Reeper
    24th Nov 2014
    5:58pm
    A stunt...obviously this idiot is getting paid too much. What will he discover that the massive effort hasn't already?
    particolor
    24th Nov 2014
    7:55pm
    He Will Discover Its a Long Way to Africa !!
    Mar
    24th Nov 2014
    6:20pm
    SPOT ON TED!
    Adrianus
    25th Nov 2014
    8:59am
    Paying his own way? Lambie says she paid her own way too by selling her home to be used for campaign funds. Clive did not help her financially. ???
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2014
    1:03pm
    According to Clive (a man I find hard to believe) he spent $700K getting her elected. Gossip has it that he "may" sue her.
    With all the flack swirling around about him and millions he has supposedly syphoned off from the Chinese company I would think he has enough court cases to contend with at the moment.

    Wonder how he finds time to attend Parliament?
    Kato
    25th Nov 2014
    11:25am
    Tell me why should the Taxpayer fund this or any other trip any politicians take under there self belief.
    particolor
    25th Nov 2014
    11:42am
    Wineries look Quit nice this time of Year ! And the Snow in the Northern Hemisphere is Magnetic ! We owe them an Outing or six, after all the Hard Work and Heavy Lifting they do all Year in Parliament Roasting each other.

    25th Nov 2014
    12:58pm
    So what is his trip going to achieve|??
    miss aisle
    25th Nov 2014
    3:15pm
    He thinks he'll be enlightened - about what, I don't know ?
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2014
    3:49pm
    I suppose he is trying to justify his existence ;)!
    Adrianus
    25th Nov 2014
    4:07pm
    To be fair one good thing Richard Di Natale did was to get the then ALP government to reverse their decision to invest $250m of the Future Fund in big tobacco. As far as this trip is concerned, I'm not sure what he hopes to achieve. The Greens travel itinerary has been full in the past visiting 'Detention Centres.' However, this government has closed 9 Detention Centres because obviously they were no longer required.
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2014
    9:59pm
    The guy is a total wanker at our expense .. Put him into quarantine when he returns
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2014
    10:04pm
    Weare very lucky to have a government that has Australias interest at heart . Not grandstanding on the world stage ..but doing what is pragmatic for Australia ..the shame is that now more than 5o per cent are on the govt teat that self interest will rule...
    Adrianus
    25th Nov 2014
    10:25pm
    Don't give up on your fellow Australians Pete. We will see what happens on Saturday. We will see how many Victorians care .
    particolor
    26th Nov 2014
    11:08am
    So what is this trip going to Achieve ??

    He might find Dr Livingstone ?..
    I Presume ?
    wally
    27th Nov 2014
    8:51pm
    Dr di Natale may be starting a new Greenie travel trend. Instead of visiting detention centres, it looks like he is going to visit quarantine centres.
    Fred
    26th Dec 2014
    9:52am
    That is very good of the Senator paying his own way with the overinflated income that we as tax payers have to pay him and his fellow Politictions.
    particolor
    26th Dec 2014
    11:16am
    "Keep the Change !!"


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