Page 3113 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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impacts. These initiatives will also increase business productivity in the ACT and health-related education outcomes.

Current estimates suggest that up to 80 per cent of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and more than one-third of cancers worldwide could be prevented by eliminating shared, modifiable risk factors, such as those associated with smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. We are also investing in campaigns to reduce smoking during pregnancy, which are designed to have a direct health benefit to the mother and to their newborn baby by reducing low weight at birth and subsequent neonatal care costs.

Other specific programs supported by our recent budget include healthier work, ride or walk to school, kids at play, it’s your move, fresh tastes, smoking cessation and an interactive web-based data platform. The programs support the ACT government priority to invest in preventive health services to promote physical and emotional wellbeing and prevent disease across the ACT community.

I conclude by saying that as we continue to invest in services, preventive health and infrastructure, the federal government remain committed to ripping billions of dollars out of our health system and the health systems of other states and territories over the next decade. With federal cuts of $57 billion stripped from health, the ACT could expect to lose up to $600 million over the 10 years to 2026-27. In general terms $600 million would fund approximately 58,000 elective surgery procedures over the 10 years. Additionally, by the final year to 2026-27, this funding would have provided for a further 1,200 nurses or 80 intensive care unit beds or 340 general inpatient beds in the territory. I am proud to be part of this Labor government led by the Minister for Health, Simon Corbell.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.19): I am always delighted to talk here in the Legislative Assembly about our health system, particularly our hardworking health staff who do sometimes so much with so little. Ms Fitzharris paid great attention to the health minister, Mr Corbell. It seems ironic that she is praising him in here for such a sterling job but, sadly, it seems that even the Labor Party has lost confidence in Mr Corbell as a minister.

Even his faction have lost confidence in him as the health minister, and he has been put down the ticket by his own faction as a response to their perception, I imagine, of his performance in this place. Maybe Ms Fitzharris could have been there at the preselection talking to the preselectors. It would have been useful, but when we turn to the reality of what has been happening across our health system we get a clearer picture of why perhaps it is that the Labor Party has chosen not to have Mr Corbell as one of their candidates at the next election.

There is an enormous amount of taxpayers’ money invested in our health system—about $1.4 billion. I say at the outset that the Canberra Liberals welcome that funding. We see health as an absolute priority. So I make it very clear that this is not about whether there should be less funding; the points that I make are about whether that money is being invested as well as it could be, whether we are getting the return on our money and if we were more effective and more efficient what that would mean in terms of extra staff we could employ and extra facilities.

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