Page 1603 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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That is a far more believable scenario, but it is not a better scenario than deceiving the population. To tell them one thing and then do another, to cut hospital beds from the University of Canberra, is a deception. It is a fraud; it is disingenuous.

Dr Bourke: A point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, I think “fraud” is unparliamentary language and I ask you to make a ruling.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Could you withdraw, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: I am happy to withdraw the word “fraud”, Madam Deputy Speaker. The point that I am making—and I will continue saying this, and you will get bored with it and you will get sick of it in this place, I assure you—is to say to this minister, who comes in here sanctimoniously saying he is concerned about what the feds are doing while he is cutting hospital beds, “Between now and the election fulfil your promise. Don’t break your promise. Don’t rip up the plans. Don’t go to the people of Ginninderra. Don’t come into this place. Don’t have committees. Don’t write reports. Don’t make public statements. Don’t release newsletters saying one thing and then do another. Show some honesty. Show some decency. Have some foresight. Don’t just have short-term thinking. Do not cut these beds.”

If there is not money in the budget, if you cannot run a $770 million deficit or whatever it is going to be—we will find out soon enough—if you cannot fund Mr Fluffy and you cannot fund light rail all at one time, quite clearly this government has to make decisions. As the minister said when he spoke to his motion, the priority for any government should be health. You cannot say that when you are coming into this place and cutting hospital beds.

I say to this minister, and I will be saying it between now and election day, that if you are serious about what you are saying, if the priority is health, cancel your light rail project, defer light rail, do not proceed with light rail whilst you are at the same time cutting hospital beds. If you are going to cut hospital beds, do not come into this place lecturing us about health cuts when you, Mr Corbell, as the minister, are the one cutting beds that have been proposed and planned, and when people like you, Madam Deputy Speaker, have been touting it as happening for the people of Ginninderra when that is no longer the case. I look forward to government members coming in here and retracting their statements on the Hansard for fear that they have misled this place.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.54): It is good to see that the health minister can get some policy response out of the Leader of the Opposition, even if it is a deranged and misguided rant on an issue that he well knows is entirely off the mark. To quickly and clearly address the main thrust of the opposition leader’s comments, the University of Canberra public hospital will have 215 beds. Let us be clear about that. That issue is resolved. Your entire rant was wrong, irrelevant and missed the point. The point—

Mr Hanson: That’s not true, Mr Barr.

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