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Thursday, 15 September 1983
Page: 894

Mr IAN CAMERON —I direct a question to the Minister for Health. It is about his shoddy behaviour while in Queensland. First, I ask the Minister why he hates Queenslanders, who are being governed by the progressive Bjelke-Petersen Government, Queensland being the only State with a free hospital service?

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member should come to his question.

Mr IAN CAMERON —Secondly, why will he give Queensland only an extra $10m for new hospitals as reported in the Queensland Press on 10 September? Thirdly, will he continue to offer Queensland an extra $10m for Queensland hospitals after the National-Liberal Party Government is re-elected on 22 October?

Mr SPEAKER —Order! I warn honourable members that, if questions of that nature are asked, they will not be allowed to be answered; the honourable member will be sat down. On this occasion I call the Minister for Health.

Dr BLEWETT —My affection for Queenslanders is quite clearly shown in the very generous provisions that have been made to the Queensland Government, the only government to receive a special grant. It will receive that grant, of course, because of the unique situation in Queensland. It is a grant of $50m extra in the first 18 months of Medicare. As evidence of the continuing conciliatory attitude of this Government to the Queensland Government, I indicated when asked at a Press conference in Queensland that, of course, negotiations could continue about marginal elements of that $35m grant. But I indicated that it was not possible at this point in time to continue worthwhile negotiations with a rump government which had just dismissed its Minister for Health.