Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 November 2022) . . Page.. 3959 ..
share of funding? Were they advocating to their coalition federal colleagues? No, nothing—crickets from those opposite when the Morrison government was still in place, even though other state Liberal governments were calling for it.
Those opposite are now calling for the reversal of a cut that does not exist, but they were never heard from when the Morrison government was overseeing the degradation of aged care, primary care and the inability for NDIS to support people to be discharged from hospital in a timely fashion to somewhere that was more appropriate for them and their care. Canberrans are well aware of this hypocrisy from those opposite. Something in their bones tells them that the Liberal Party cannot be trusted with health funding.
If this motion had engaged in the national debate about improving the National Health Reform Agreement, supporting the ACT government’s ongoing advocacy for fifty-fifty funding or removal of the cap, this could have been a different debate. We could have had a tripartisan view that in fact we do need to improve the National Health Reform Agreement; that in fact the commonwealth does need to come to the party. I am pleased to say that Minister Butler is taking these calls seriously. We are two years into this term of the Assembly, and I am starting to expect more substance from those opposite on this point.
The second paragraph of this motion is quite unusual. It is a random assortment of statements, most of which are misleading. I am running out of time. I want to emphasise that the decrease in the FTE numbers that Ms Castley talks about reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In case she has not noticed, we are no longer in lockdown. We are no longer rolling out a mass vaccination campaign across the territory. What we have done is meet our election commitment to 400 new FTE equivalent permanent staff—exactly what we said we would do ahead of time, because that is what Labor governments do. We deliver. (Time expired.)
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (3.32): I am speaking to this motion on behalf of my colleague Mr Davis, who is unable to be here today. The ACT Greens will be voting against Ms Castley’s motion. It is an inaccurate, unhelpful and highly politicised reflection of the position that our health system is in. There is a lot of material in here that is not an accurate reflection of our health system, and we have heard about that in quite some detail from the health minister.
It does not reflect how our national health funding agreement works. It does not reflect the fact that the changes in staffing from last year to this year account for the government scaling down the once-in-a-generation mass vaccination program for COVID that we successfully delivered last year. I will not go through the motion line by line. My colleague the health minister actually went through much of it, in the time allowed to her, line by line, to do some fact checking.
Instead I will make a few substantive comments on behalf of Mr Davis about the Liberals’ approach to health care. Mostly, it seems to be confused. In the Greens, we look at a history of the federal Liberal Party that seeks to privatise health care at every level and make it a personal responsibility. We look at the federal Liberal system of putting a $7 billion subsidy into private insurance instead of into core health funding.