Page 2526 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.58): Mr Speaker, the Minister for Health is going on his merry way, which is the usual Goebbels approach to things: if you say something often enough, no matter how inaccurate it is, people might believe it. As Mr Mulcahy has pointed out, Mr Corbell keeps saying that the Liberal Party wants to cut money out of health. No-one wants to cut money out of health. This is Mr Corbell at his highest as a purveyor of deliberate inexactitude. He is there saying something which is patently not true, patently false. No-one is saying, “Slash the hospital budget.” His deliberate inexactitude goes on and on. The Liberal Party has been saying consistently—

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. “Deliberate inexactitude” is just a cute way of getting—

MR SPEAKER: That is a fair point, Mr Corbell. Withdraw that, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Sorry, Mr Speaker, but—

MR SPEAKER: Just withdraw it. It is an offensive use of the language and I will not tolerate it. Withdraw it.

MRS DUNNE: I withdraw it. Even though it was good enough for Winston Churchill, I withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: For whom?

MRS DUNNE: Winston Churchill.

MR SPEAKER: That says it all.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, what we have here is a minister who has presided over a massive blow-out in the budget, has presided over massive blow-outs in expenditure.

Mr Corbell: Health is on budget. I do not know whether you have noticed, but health comes in on budget.

MRS DUNNE: I will go back and rephrase that because Mr Corbell’s interjection is, in fact, correct. We have seen a massive blow-out in expenditure year-on-year. We have had more and more money being thrown at the health budget. The solution for the Labor Party if it has a problem is to throw money at it, whereas it should be looking at how the agencies are performing.

Mr Smyth spent some time talking about the report that came out today. Mr Speaker, sometimes some ministers wake up in the morning and think they should never get out of bed. I suspect that Mr Corbell felt like that today when he saw what Tony Abbott had dropped in his lap overnight. This report is a searing indictment of the years of mismanagement of Mr Corbell and his predecessor, Mr Stanhope, whose solution to the problems in the health system is to throw money at it willy-nilly. They will not look at what is causing the problem. They will not look at why we are spending 30 per cent or 35 per cent more, depending on which measure you use—whether you use money spent per head of population or average cost-weighted separations; it does not matter how you

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