Page 631 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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described it as a much needed fillip to families and rural communities. Jock Laurie from the New South Wales Farmers Federation welcomed the relief the package would provide to farming families.

There is broad support, Mr Speaker—almost everywhere one turns—except when one turns to those sulking on the opposition benches looking for relevance. They are too busy turning question time into an undergraduate university review to actually listen to what their own community is telling them. They are too self-interested to care what their own community thinks. They are too lazy to find out, too self-obsessed to care what their own business sector is saying, too oblivious to the hardship of others, particularly young working families, too determined to play politics—and oppositional politics at that—and too bent on talking down the capacity of this town and the private sector in this town to deliver capital works.

There is strong support within the community for this package. Everywhere I go all I receive is praise and support for this package. The only concern is that the Liberal Party will not allow the package to proceed, that it will be thwarted in the Senate and that it will not achieve the outcomes and the results that every single one of those community representatives that I have just quoted believes will be delivered by this package. It is why every single one of them from across the spectrum, from school principals in both the public and private sector, community groups, church representatives, farmers groups and industry representatives—every single one of them—supports this package, as delivered by the Prime Minister and as proposed by the federal government.

There is strong support throughout the entire community except within the ACT branch of the Liberal Party. It has decided that its role is to oppose irrespective of the merits of the issue or the seriousness of the situation. It is an absolute disgrace!


MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you advise the Assembly how the ACT government’s revised economic outlook will impact on your capacity to fund the billion-dollar health infrastructure upgrade program and recurrent expenditure in the outyears?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the shadow minister for health for the question. As everyone in this place would or should know, this government’s prudent economic management has ensured that the growth funds for health are built into our forward estimates. Unlike any other government, I think, in Australia, we have provided $550 million over the next four years in growth funding for health. That means we are not going to have to look anywhere else for money for health; it is already factored in. So with respect to the recurrent services that we are planning on growing, and that we have committed to in the election campaign, that money is already located in the forward estimates.

In relation to the capital plan, the billion-dollar plan to rebuild our health facilities, the comprehensive plan that we outlined before the election and that we are already delivering on, $300 million of that has already been provided in last year’s budget.

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