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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 329


Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (15:53): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) condemns the Government's:

   (i) harsh cut to dental services for children in lower income families, ripping away $300 per child from the Child Dental Benefits Schedule - the only Medicare-funded dental care program,

   (ii) enacting of this cut through regulation during the extended summer break so that it was in place without this chamber being able to scrutinise or disallow it for six weeks, and

   (iii) dramatic cut which was made at the same time as a further deep cut to Commonwealth funding to the states and territories for public dental services to under $100 million annually, which will drastically reduce dental services provided to approximately 400,000 Australians; and

(b) calls on the Government to end its attack on public dental services by:

   (i) restoring the full funding to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule so that Australian children in need have access to the dental health care they require,

   (ii) restoring appropriate funding to states and territories for delivery of public dental services, and

   (iii) expanding funding to Medicare-funded dental services so that more Australians can access this crucial care.