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Tuesday, 10 September 1996
Page: 3818


Mr BEAZLEY —It is a great shame that we did not hear about the trebling of the fees for Family Court marriage counselling.


Mr ACTING SPEAKER —Order! The Leader of the Opposition will get to the question.


Mr BEAZLEY —Prime Minister, my question is addressed to you. It concerns your contretemps with your colleague in the health portfolio. Do you recall your interview on 2UE on 30 August 1996 when you said, among other things:

The department should have told him. Now, I'm not trying to pay out on the department. It's happened, it's happened. But it really is a lapse for something as important to the Government, and known to be important to the Government and to the Australian public that these increases weren't told . . . If I had known, if I had been told about these increases, I would have requested that they be announced publicly and openly before the budget was brought down . . .

And do you recall the minister for health saying in this House yesterday:

. . . I should say that on budget night I was aware that National Mutual—

that is HBA—

would be increasing their premiums . . .

Has the minister caused you to mislead the Australian public?


Mr HOWARD —No.