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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9153


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:28): My question is to the Prime Minister. One year ago today the Prime Minister promised a government of no surprises, no excuses. Dr Julie McClellan, a GP in Melbourne, in the Australian Doctor petition against the GP tax questioned why she would have to ask:

… the confused, elderly lady rocking in the corner for her $7?

When did the Prime Minister tell Australians before the election that they would be forced to pay his new GP tax?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:29): I say in response to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition what I have said in response to numerous questions over the last few months—that is, if it is right and proper to have a modest co-payment for access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme drugs, it is surely right and proper to have a modest co-payment for access to Medicare

Members opposite know that it makes sense to have a modest Medicare co-payment—

Mr Champion interjecting

Mr ABBOTT: because the former Prime Minister Bob Hawke actually introduced a modest Medicare co-payment.

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield is warned!

Mr ABBOTT: The member for Lingiari and the—I cannot remember his seat; he used to be the member for Reid—they voted in this parliament for a modest co-payment back in the early 1990s. So members opposite know that there is a very strong case for a co-payment—

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The question goes to when the Prime Minister told the Australian people.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has concluded his answer.