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Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Page: 1289

Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Health) (15:44): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute, Senator Nash.

Senator NASH: I thank the Senate for leave to explain why the government does not support this motion today. Let me make it clear that this government takes the health of Indigenous Australians seriously. The government notes, however, that in 2011-12 the former government allocated $13 million to respond to the findings of the Central Australia Renal Study. It is understood, however, that negotiations by the previous government with the state and territory governments failed to reach an agreement and, as a result, $3 million was returned to consolidated revenue.

In 2013-14, $10 million was allocated for projects to support dialysis in Central Australia, but again, negotiations by the previous government were unsuccessful. This government acknowledges the challenges associated with delivering dialysis services in Central Australia and remains committed to considering innovative ways to deliver services to remote communities and to ensuring that resources effectively reach those who need them. Senator Siewert has previously been informed that the funding for renal dialysis services is under consideration by this government and advice will be provided as it becomes available. This motion today is nothing more than a political stunt and the government does not support it.