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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9158


Mr STEPHEN JONES ( Throsby ) ( 14: 44 ): My question is to the Prime Minister. One year ago today the Prime Minister promised a government of no surprises and no excuses. Sue Drury, of Ballan in Victoria, is on a disability support pension and requires multiple medications, which cost more than $140 a month, and fortnightly visits to the GP to treat her chronic conditions and leukaemia. When did the Prime Minister tell Sue before the election—

Ms Butler interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Griffith will desist!

Mr STEPHEN JONES: he would make it harder for her to visit the doctor with his GP tax and increased costs of medicines?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:45): I accept that the lady in question is doing it tough. I obviously accept that she is doing it tough, and I dare say that she does not particularly like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme co-payment which she has to pay and which the Labor Party put in place and which the Labor Party increased significantly over the years—and they did not ever take it to an election.

Dr Chalmers interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Rankin will desist!

Mr ABBOTT: The fact is that a Medicare co-payment for visiting a general practitioner has been on our national agenda for years. It was put there by Bob Hawke, with the assistance of the member for Jagajaga, and it has the enthusiastic support of Labor's shadow Assistant Treasurer, and that is why it should be on our agenda today.

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

Mr ABBOTT: I have concluded this answer.