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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 807

Mr FREE(9.22) —I support the amendment moved on behalf of the Government and deplore what is clearly intended to be a series of divisions by way of clause by clause opposition to this important package of Bills. The behaviour of the Opposition is similar to the behaviour of the Opposition during the period when the original Medibank package was introduced, and there is no doubt that this opposition will continue throughout the evening. That is a great pity because, if ever a policy was carefully developed, thoroughly researched and patiently communicated, it is Labor's health program. There is no doubt that this policy is accepted by the public and that it will bring back to health insurance those features of simplicity, fairness and universality so sadly lacking for most of the past seven years. The introduction of Medicare will return health insurance arrangements to those original Medibank principles, this time with a levy instead of general revenue funding. It will bring to an end a period of change and conflict extending over 15 years.

Mr Fisher —Mr Deputy Chairman, I take a point of order. I do not believe the honourable member is referring to clause 12 in his remarks.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr Rocher) —I remind the honourable member for Macquarie that we are speaking to an amendment to clause 12. I have been listening carefully and waiting for him to get to the point. I would ask him to do so. As he is not continuing I call the honourable member for North Sydney.