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Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Page: 1102

Medicare


Ms KING (Ballarat) (14:48): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that he insisted on the policy that would have seen a $20 cut to the Medicare rebate for short consultations, against the concerns of the Treasurer and the then Minister for Health?


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:48): Again I say to members opposite that all decisions of the Expenditure Review Committee are unanimous. All decisions are unanimous. Lots of things are canvassed, as you would expect, and lots of issues and lots of options are debated, but all decisions of the Expenditure Review Committee are unanimous. What we have seen from members opposite today is a complete fixation with Canberra insider beltway gossip. They are welcome to their insider fixations. They are welcome to all this tawdry politics, but what the Australian people want is a government which is focused on the people of Australia, a government which every day is making good decisions that will improve the welfare of the people of Australia—and every day that is exactly what this government is doing.

Just in the last 10 days or so we have lowered the screening threshold for foreign purchases of agricultural land—a problem that was completely ignored by members opposite. Just last week we have a way forward for the Future Submarine project, where members opposite sat on their hands for six years. Just last week we committed federal money to a public transport infrastructure project in the ACT. The ACT Labor Party is at least prepared to privatise, unlike members opposite who will not do anything—even cooperate in a study of the nuclear cycle in South Australia. Just this week we have got on with the job of protecting Australia from the threat of death cult terrorism. Every day we are doing what is necessary for the people of Australia.

Last week I was in Tasmania announcing five new dams. That will set up the agricultural industries of Tasmania for the future. On Saturday I was in Darwin opening a $100 million export meat processing facility. It never would have happened under Labor. They closed the beef export industry down. That is what they did. You never would have those sorts of investments under a carbon tax. You never would have those sorts of investments without the free trade deals that we have negotiated. You never would have had those sorts of investments when they were closing down the live cattle trade in panic at a television program. They can play politics all they like, but the people of Australia want good government—and that is what they are getting every day from this government.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Before I give the honourable member for Hume the call, the cacophony on my left will cease.