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Thursday, 12 May 1994
Page: 768

Senator REID (3.33 p.m.) —I too wish to rise briefly to talk about the question of breast cancer funding in the budget. Without canvassing the issues that have already been canvassed in this short debate, I draw attention to the fact that in the Australian Capital Territory the funding for breast cancer screening has been decreased from last year's budget. I would very much like to know why $143,000, which amounts to a very high percentage of the funding, has been removed.

  The Australian Capital Territory is an ageing population and also a growing population. It is one of the two or three areas in Australia where population is increasing. On that basis, one would have expected that there would have been at least a small increase in the amount of money made available to it, but not so: $742,000 appears in the budget papers for 1993-94 and $599,000 in the budget papers for 1994-95. The six states all have an increase in funding, so it must be recognised as something that needs to be increased. The Northern Territory also suffers a loss, and no explanation of any reasonable kind has been given for the decrease in funding to the Australian Capital Territory. I think we are entitled to that explanation, in view of the increase in funding to the states.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.