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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2267 ..

MR STANHOPE: I won't repeat that. I will not repeat that the federal Liberals abolished the dental program.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: The Labor Party's policy then went on to say:

Continuing discomfort of unattended dental conditions in turn affects general health. Waiting times must be reduced.

Preventative measures are also vital.

Labor announced in April-

and that was last year-

that it would allocate significant additional funds to the public dental health program. The ACT Government-

the then Liberal government-

picked up Labor's initiative and allocated an additional $2.576 million over four years to the public dental health program.

A Federal ALP Government has pledged to restore the funding, abolished by the Howard Government, for the public dental health services in the States and Territories. On 8 October, Federal Labor Leader, Kim Beazley, announced that $100 million will be allocated to a National Dental Health program.

Labor will-

and these are the promises we then made in the context of that preamble to the policy-

Maintain an additional allocation to the public health dental program of $2.567 million

Participate in the public dental health program of a Federal Labor Government

Include dental treatment and dental health programs and indigenous health programs.

Mr Speaker, those promises have been kept.

Mr Humphries: Well, how come there was a cut in the sum of services then?

MR STANHOPE: There was a cut in services because the funding that was provided through the $2.576 million started-as I'm sure you recall, Mr Humphries-with the allocation of an additional $1 million to reduce waiting lists. That was the initial decision taken-one-off funding-and $500,000 to refer clients to private providers increased the relative value of units to 71,300.

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