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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6171

Health Care

Mr VASTA (Bonner) (15:02): My question is for the Minister for Health. Will the minister update the House on how a stronger economy enables the government to provide record funding support for health services in South-East Queensland? Is the minister aware of another approach to the funding of health services?

Mr HUNT (FlindersMinister for Health) (15:03): I thank the member for Bonner, who, before coming to this place, was very successful in small business and has brought that same hardworking approach to his own electorate of Bonner. One of the things he knew, though, is that you can't be successful in business or in the economy unless you have a plan. That's why the plan that the Prime Minister and the Treasurer and others have built has helped deliver a million jobs, and those million jobs have helped deliver a budget position which allows us to guarantee essential services such as record funding for Medicare with an extra $4.8 million; record funding for hospitals with an extra $30 billion over the new long-term hospital agreement, including over an extra $7 billion in Queensland; record funding for mental health and for the PBS. What we also see is that it allows us at the local level to work on supporting drug and alcohol programs to deal with addiction and to provide hope and opportunity. In his own electorate, he has fought for and been able to secure two important local drug action teams, with the Blue Light Association and the SCHEMA Action Team.

More important even than that, though, is that, when you look right across Queensland, what you see is a major increase in hospital funding. This increase has gone from what it was under Labor—$2.7 billion in 2012-13 for Commonwealth funding—to over $4 billion now and is heading to $6½ billion over the coming years. What that means is more services, more operations and more ability to provide the people of South-East Queensland with what they need.

But I'm asked whether there are any alternatives. I saw an online petition on the weekend from Queensland Labor, and what that Queensland Labor petition said was, 'Stop the cuts to Caboolture Hospital.' So I checked the figures, and what I found was this: federal funding to the Metro North area, which includes Caboolture Hospital, went up by $120 million in the last full year alone—$120 million. Yet what did the very people who put out this petition about Caboolture Hospital, Queensland Labor, do? They cut their own funding to their own hospital by $21 million.

Two things come out of this: firstly, Labor cannot be trusted and, secondly, Labor cannot manage the economy. If you can't manage the economy, you can't manage health.