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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21725


Mr BALDWIN (1:56 PM) —Today I wish to bring to the attention of the House the failed launch of Labor's latest rescue package for the medical industry. The Leader of the Opposition and the opposition health minister went to Gosford and gave a great performance about how they are going to have rescue teams of doctors and nurses to go into hospitals to provide hot-spot relief. There is no hospital in Port Stephens. There is no public hospital in the Foster-Tuncurry region. So this money is being spent predominantly in the city areas. The opposition talk about their care for, and commitment to, the bush, yet it seems to stop at Shortland. Shortland is about 40 kilometres away from my electorate, so this policy will deliver absolutely nothing for the people of Paterson. This policy, however, is being funded by the people of Paterson through their taxes. We see that the opposition have their hands buried deep in the pockets of the people of Paterson but they are not prepared to spend a single cent on working out a way of relieving bulk-billing problems in my electorate of Paterson. I think that is a disgrace. I think that the Labor members in the Hunter should have more to say about this health policy that does nothing. Will it provide relief for the people in the member for Hunter's electorate? No, nor indeed in the member for Newcastle's electorate. (Time expired)