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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 139 ..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

On Mr Smyth's amendment, I have no problem with his amendment No 1, calling on the Commonwealth government to review the Medicare rebate. As Mr Smyth said, it has been a problem, and we acknowledge that. I think it should be reviewed in a serious manner and should perhaps be reassessed.

Regarding the public policy that Mr Corbell mentioned, which relates to the Medicare rebate, he is right. It is public policy, and I am happy that he welcomes the vote. I agree that there is severe pressure on the health care system and that there should be collaboration but, having had discussions with the ACT Division of General Practice on a review of this system, I think it is important that we accept some responsibility locally. We need to collaborate with the local medical profession in order for the local medical profession to make recommendations to the Commonwealth.

So, yes, the Commonwealth has great responsibility in this regard, but we cannot abrogate our responsibility as ACT public servants and members of this place to also make recommendations. Therefore, we need to collaborate with local health groups and medical groups. That is all I am saying on this one.

MR CORNWELL (11.20): Mr Speaker, I have a further amendment to move to Mr Smyth's amendment-a technical matter.

MR SPEAKER: Have you circulated it?

MR CORNWELL: I am about to do just that, sir.

Ms Tucker: Are we going to vote on it?

MR SPEAKER: I do not want to hold the debate in abeyance.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition): I seek leave to speak again briefly to what Mr Cornwell is going to do, so that it does not hold the debate up.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: I do not think anybody here would object to the concept of calling on the Commonwealth to review the Medicare rebate. Indeed, Mr Corbell said that it was essential that such a thing happened. If we change my amendment No 3 to No 5, Mr Hargreaves' original 3 would remain and 5 could be included. That would be the purpose of the amendment that Mr Cornwell is now hastily writing and giving to the clerks, so that they may copy and distribute it. That would allow us to keep what Mr Hargreaves wants but add something that I think most people agree with.

MR SPEAKER: I suggest this course, Mr Smyth: that you seek leave to withdraw your amendment and move it later on.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to withdraw my amendment and foreshadow that I will move it at a later stage in the debate.

Leave granted.

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