Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Brumby lashes out over health overhaul -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Victorian Premier appears to be resolute in his opposition to Kevin
Rudd's hospital takeover. In a nationally televised address, John Brumby said he'd be a mug to
accept any plan that cost his state money.

But the Prime Minister's most vocal supporter among state and territory leaders, Mike Rann, says
Victoria is stuffing it up for the rest of them.

From Canberra, political reporter Emma Griffiths.

EMMA GRIFFITHS, REPORTER: Four days to go and counting until Monday's crucial meeting and the
players are moving into their endgame positions.

JOHN BRUMBY, VICTORIAN PREMIER: Victoria cannot and will not support the Commonwealth proposal.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: People right across our country are sick and tired of excuses for
delay.

MIKE RANN, SA PREMIER: Rather than us all getting together and making a decision in the nation's
interest, in the interests of patients, that we see some gains being played for various political
reasons.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The Victorian Premier took his argument onto enemy territory, addressing the nation
from Canberra.

JOHN BRUMBY: I know the risks inherent in this. I couldn't sign up to a deal that cost us money.
You know, I'd be a mug to do that.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Doctors believe he's putting money concerns ahead of patients.

ANDREW PESCE, AMA PRESIDENT: I suspect it proves you can't get between a politician and his tax
revenue.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: On the health hustings for the second week in a row, the Prime Minister's sticking
to his all-or-nothing threat.

KEVIN RUDD: I understand Mr Brumby is out there today arguing for no change to the current hospital
system. You know something?

No reform at COAG means the same old hospital system and the same old problems as we've had in the
past.

NICOLA ROXON, HEALTH MINISTER: These are important investments and benefits for Victorians that we
hope Mr Brumby won't turn his back on.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: His South Australian counterpart's worried if he does the whole plan will be
aborted and any extra money lost.

MIKE RANN: That's what we're investigating to get and we don't want anyone stuffing it up on
Monday.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But the man who helped introduce the last historic change to the health system,
Medicare, believes this one should be binned.

JOHN DEEBLE, HEALTH EXPERT: I don't think any premier could sign up to something that is so
uncertain.

They don't know what primary services the Commonwealth wants to take and they don't know how much
money they'll be offered.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The money they stand to lose is at the core of John Brumby's Opposition. The Prime
Minister call for a 30 per cent clawback of the GST, an idea that came as a shock to the Victorian
Premier.

JOHN BRUMBY: At no time, ever, ever, formally, informally, on the record, off the record, in
meetings, out of meetings has there even been any suggestion from the Prime Minister that they
would steal the GST from the states. I mean, that one just came straight out of the blue.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: It shouldn't have; Kevin Rudd spelt it out in the very first documents signalling
the hospital takeover, a Kevin '07 campaign policy.

KEVIN RUDD (2007): We would then make parallel reductions in Commonwealth payments to the states.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Peter Costello picked it up as a campaign issue.

PETER COSTELLO, FMR TREASURER (2007): Mr Rudd has said that he plans to clawback GST from the
states in order to fund a Commonwealth takeover of the hospital system.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But two and a half years on, WA doesn't like the idea either, and the ABC has
obtained Tasmanian Treasury advice warning that a GST clawback would reduce that state's budget
flexibility and set a precedent for the Commonwealth to access the GST as a solution to fund other
priorities.

The re-elected Labor Premier there has already backed the Prime Minister's plan.

Emma Griffiths, Lateline.