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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr LAZZARINI (Werriwa) .- The Treasurer has reiterated over and over again that the patients have not asked for this increase. Will he say that .the patients of the Waterfall Sanatorium are satisfied ? I challenge the statement that there is a consensus of opinion among patients that the Government proposal is satisfactory. Some patients may have intimated .that they would be satisfied with the extra ls., but the majority of patients in hospitals in my electorate are not.

Mr Groom - How much are they asking for?

Mr LAZZARINI - They would take all they can get. When the pension was increased to 12s. 6d., pensioners who became inmates of institutions got 2s. a week, and the State Government were credited with 10s. 6d. for their maintenance. When subsequently there was a further increase in pensions of 2s. 6d. per week, tha amount paid to institutions was still 10s. 6d., and to the patient 2s., so the Commonwealth Government then made a clear saving of 2s. 6d. upon every pensioner in a public institution. But these patients contend that they are entitled to the full amount of the pension. The Government should give them at least 8s. per fortnight. Many of these institutions are caring for men whose health has been ruined in such unhealthy occupations as rock chopping to improve the sanitation and safeguard the health of people in our cities. There are a number of returned soldiers in the Waterfall Sanatorium. Will the Government refuse this extra allowance to them?

Dr Earle Page - We are giving them exactly what they have asked for.

Mr LAZZARINI - Can the Treasurer say how many in my electorate have said that they would be satisfied with the extra ls. per week? I shall not be satisfied until they receive the full amount.

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