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Thursday, 2 December 2004
Page: 126


Senator McLUCAS (5:37 PM) —Labor acknowledges the intent of the Democrats' amendments to link bulk-billing to the increase in the rebate, but I refer to my comments in the second reading debate when I said that the government can claim that this measure is subject to an election mandate. Labor hopes—and I emphasise `hopes'—that there may be some support for patients through this measure, but we are sceptical that it will be a long-term and sustainable measure. However, as I said, we recognise that the government can claim that this measure is subject to a mandate, so I cannot provide support to the Democrats' amendments.