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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2780

Hospitals


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:44): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's decision to cut more than $50 billion from Australia's hospitals. Can the Prime Minister confirm that, in New South Wales, this is the equivalent of sacking one in five nurses, one in three doctors and closing thousands of hospital beds in public hospitals? Prime Minister, why should the people of New South Wales pay for the Prime Minister's broken promises and the failure of the Premier of New South Wales to stand up to his mate?

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, how can it be in order for that question to stand when it so clearly offends section 100 of the standing orders? It is based on an assertion which has not been repeated anywhere at all, it is without any fact whatsoever, and therefore it must be out of order—or at least the Leader of the Opposition should have the opportunity to rephrase it so that it is in order.

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, I am careful not to use a prop—

The SPEAKER: That is very wise of you.

Mr Burke: But what is being claimed to be an assertion is in fact a budget paper.

The SPEAKER: My concern with the question was not that it was based on an assertion. My concern with the question was that it offended other parts of standing order 100. However, I am going to let the question stand.

Mr Perrett interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton will leave under section 94(a). I have been very lenient with him today.

The member for Moreton then left the chamber.








Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:45): I am absolutely delighted to have this question from the Leader of the Opposition because it allows me to tell him and, through him, the people of New South Wales that federal hospital funding to New South Wales grows by eight per cent this year, 10 per cent next year, 10 per cent the year after that and eight per cent in the final year of the forward estimates.

Ms Claydon interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Newcastle is not in her seat and may not speak.

Mr ABBOTT: While I am at it—and perhaps I might pre-empt the next question—schools funding in New South Wales grows by seven per cent this year, eight per cent next year, nine per cent the year after that and six per cent in the final year of the forward estimates. There will be more money for public hospitals, more money for public schools and, above all else, more money for roads.

Ms King interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Ballarat will desist.

Mr ABBOTT: What has the Labor Party got in store? Labor's infrastructure plan is not about what they are going to build, it is about what they are going to cancel. They are going to cancel the second harbour rail crossing, they are going to cancel the Parramatta light rail and they are going to cancel stage 3 of WestConnex. WestConnex is going to create 10,000 jobs—so that is 10,000 jobs cancelled by members opposite.

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, I appreciate that you ruled it is as reasonably broad ranging, but the Prime Minister is not mentioning hospitals now at all.

The SPEAKER: There is no point of order. The member will resume his seat.

Mr ABBOTT: But for the debt and deficit that members opposite created, there would be $1 billion every single month in debt interest that this government would not have to pay. We could build a new tertiary teaching hospital in New South Wales every single month with the debt interest that members opposite saddled us with. What is Labor's plan for New South Wales? It is more taxes, more traffic lights and more congestion. If people want a decent New South Wales, there is only one thing to do: don't go back to the Labor Party, you know what that means. Labor in New South Wales was the worst government since the Rum Rebellion and we do not want them back.