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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 153 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Let us understand why the federal Liberal government does not provide those incentives. It is because this community returns safe Labor seats in the federal parliament. That is the only reason why they do not provide that assistance. On any other assessment, this city and this territory would receive similar assistance, because other regions and outer metropolitan areas in exactly the same position as the ACT receive that assistance. So why does the ACT not receive the same treatment? Mr Smyth knows it is true that it is all about politics-nothing more and nothing less.

Mr Speaker, this amendment is simply an attempt to score a cheap political point. The government is moving to implement these commitments, and I have outlined how it is doing so. Progressing this debate and progressing this issue will not be assisted by relying on the simplistic assertions of the shadow minister for health.

Question put:

That Mr Smyth's amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

	Ayes, 9  			Noes, 8

 Ms Burke  	Mr Pratt  	Mr Berry  	Mr Quinlan
 Mr Cornwell  	Mr Smyth  	Mr Corbell  	Mr Stanhope
 Mrs Cross  	Mr Stefaniak  	Ms Gallagher  	Mr Wood
 Ms Dundas  	Ms Tucker   	Mr Hargreaves   
 Mrs Dunne     			Ms MacDonald
Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (12.16): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move the amendment circulated in my name-No 5.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: I move:

Add the following new paragraph:

"(5) and calls on the Commonwealth Government to review the Medicare rebate.".

Mr Speaker, this is a simple amendment calling on the government to also tell the Commonwealth that it is time to review the Medicare rebate so that essential services like GP services are more accessible. Hopefully, this will lead to an increase in bulk-billing. Then perhaps Mr Hargreaves could get an appointment with his eye doctor so he can get an upgrade of the prescription. He obviously has some sort of stigma in his eyes, so that he fails to recognise certain paragraphs in the Labor Party policy.

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