Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 April 2008) . . Page.. 872 ..
the item that takes the largest proportion of every budget in Australia, and over this last decade, this Howard decade, this dark decade, the commonwealth government has, year on year, reduced its commitment to public health to the point where, in the space of that decade, the commonwealth government, under the Liberals, reduced expenditure on public health over the year by about a per cent a year, and the burden falling on the states and territories got to the point where the percentage proportion contribution by the commonwealth to health has declined by a per cent a year. It is no wonder, of course, that the states and territories have faced some of the issues that they have in relation to the provision of health in Australia.
Of course, as a result of that extra burden that the ACT government has picked up in relation to health expenditure, we have been able to reverse not just some of the implications of the previous Liberal government in power and its disinterest in health and health care and health funding, to the point where we have been able to add an additional 147 beds to replace the 114 closed by the previous Liberal government, closed by Bill Stefaniak and Brendan Smyth and Michael Moore. We have been able to double spending on mental health from the position left us, the legacy we inherited from Brendan Smyth and Bill Stefaniak—the Michael Moore legacy of the lowest expenditure on mental health per capita of any place in Australia, the legacy of the Liberal Party, the legacy of Brendan Smyth. The lowest level of mental health expenditure per capita in Australia is the Liberal Party legacy.
We have been able to undo the damage in disability services that was revealed so starkly in the Gallop commission of inquiry, the Brendan Smyth legacy on disability service provision in Australia, working with a government that for the first time in a decade has been prepared to recognise the burden of health on the states and territories. We look forward to continuing to work in the interests of the people of the ACT to provide the high-quality health care that they have a right to expect and which they receive under this government
Mr Speaker, I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Answer to question on notice
Question No 1825
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo): Mr Speaker, under standing order 118A, I wish to seek an explanation from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services as to why question 1825 from 12 February has not yet been answered.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services): I apologise to Dr Foskey for that question not having been answered in time. I was not aware that I had any questions outstanding, but I will make some immediate inquiries. I am sure that it is in the process of finalisation now with my department, and I will provide the answer as soon as possible.
Discussion of matter of public importance
MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Mrs Dunne, Mr Pratt, Mr Smyth, Mr Seselja and Mr Stefaniak, proposing that matters of public importance