Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

None . . Page.. 1202 ..

As for the second part of the motion, on community health centres - I will be moving later that the motion be divided - the Greens are prepared to support the motion because we believe that community health centres can be a major focus for high-quality primary health care, which is a basic commitment of the Greens. We believe that provision of high-quality health care is a responsibility of government and that the Government must ensure equal access to this service for all people. While doctors are not able to advertise their bulkbilling practices, it is difficult for people who are experiencing financial hardship to know where they can go for health care, especially in times of urgent need. We are also concerned that, if private practitioners do not target their services, people will suffer from this. We believe that if they are moved out of the community health centres there is a danger that the services provided there will fail eventually as well. For that reason, we will be supporting that motion.

MR BERRY (11.45): This is an issue about an entrenched ideology and the need to move quickly, to make the hard hits early in a term in the hope that the community will forget about them. Well, they will not forget about the actions of this Government, because they will not forget the lies that have come from the Liberals in the past. I was a little surprised to hear Ms Tucker agreeing to accept the undertakings from Mrs Carnell, particularly against the background of the facts. Mrs Carnell, whenever she makes a promise, crosses her fingers behind her back, and no more so than in the last election. Where did the people of the ACT hear Mrs Carnell promise to sell Jindalee Nursing Home? They did not.

Mrs Carnell: It is in our policy.

Mr De Domenico: Turn to page 6.

MR BERRY: I turn to page 11 of your health policy and it says, in a couple of little headings up the top, “New nursing home at Tuggeranong. New nursing home at Belconnen”. The Liberals go on to say:

We will ... construct two new nursing homes, each of approximately 80-bed capacity, in partnership with the not-for-profit sector, possibly at Belconnen and Tuggeranong.

Today, Mr Speaker, we hear Mrs Carnell saying, with the fingers crossed behind the back again, “We would like the not-for-profit sector to be involved, but we could not rule out the profit sector, all things being equal”. There was all the equivocation in the world. Watch the crossed fingers behind the back, people of the ACT, because that is what you will see a lot with this Government.

The list of withdrawals and reversals is growing faster than Pinocchio's nose. They are happening one after the other. We have heard Mrs Carnell trying to build an impression that the roof is going to come in and the sky is going to fall on the ACT, all as a precursor for the big, hard hit - we have to justify selling off the assets. I tell you, Mr Speaker, that once this is done it will never be reversed. You can never reverse these decisions. Once they are gone, they are gone forever, and the Greens and Independents ought to keep this in mind. Once this Government opts out of aged care in the ACT we will never go back into it again.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .