Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 6 Hansard (12 May) . .
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please. Mr Hanson, I request that you withdraw the statement that what Mr Barr said was not true.
Mr Hanson: I withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. Mr Barr.
Mr Doszpot interjecting—
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, be quiet, please.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is not a question and answer session. Mr Barr has the floor.
MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I must say that the voice of reason from the Liberal Party on matters of health funding is the New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, who said the biggest challenge facing his state and, indeed, the nation was health funding, that what happened in the last federal budget was not sustainable, that the states and territories do not have the capacity to meet the growth in health costs on their own and that the commonwealth has a critical role to play. That is the real issue in health funding. Try as he might, the Leader of the Opposition made no significant observation at all, no contribution on the most substantive issue that every other Liberal leader in this country recognises.
Once again, it falls to those of us who have the task of actually governing rather than just being harping critics on the sideline to take on the federal government on this issue. If there is a unity ticket in Australian politics I am happy to share it with Premier Baird, Premier Andrews, Premier Palaszczuk, Premier Wetherill—even Premier Barnett is on board on this one—Premier Hodgman and Chief Minister Giles in the Northern Territory in saying that what the commonwealth government dished up to the states and territories in its last budget in terms of health funding is unsustainable and it must be addressed.
The Leader of the Opposition may remain in denial—from what we have just heard he is—but that means that the task of tackling the real issues in health funding falls to the grown-ups who are prepared to seriously take on the federal government on this issue. You know an issue is real and serious when you have three Labor premiers and a chief minister aligning with three Liberal premiers and a chief minister to take on a federal government.
If Mr Hanson thinks that Premier Baird is wrong on this issue, let him go out and criticise his New South Wales counterpart. But I agree with Premier Baird—this is the most significant issue facing the nation. Health funding and the lack thereof from the commonwealth government will be the most substantive budget issue facing the states and territories, and the new model that the commonwealth has come up with to fund hospital services will see it reduce its share of expenditure over 10 years from 2017-18 by $57 billion nationally. Let us be clear what has happened here: in an attempt to
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