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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8414


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South Wales) (20:38): I have some short questions to finish off the health component of this amendment. They relate to GP surgeries. Obviously power bills are expected to increase by 10 per cent across the board. How does the government propose that GPs are going to pay for higher power bills? Does the government envisage that patients will be charged more and that consultation times will be cut or will surgeries be forced to turn the lights off? Can the minister assist me in relation to how—

Senator Wong: Come on, be serious. Surgeries turning the lights off—

Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: I am just asking the question, Minister.

Senator Wong: Come on. You are not seriously suggesting that—

Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: Well, answer the question. You do not want to answer the question? You have not worked it out?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN ( Senator Cameron ): Senator Fierravanti-Wells, have you finished your question?

Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS: No, I am simply saying to the minister that power bills are going to go up. Unless patients are going to pay more, doctors are going to have to look at how they meet those costs in their surgeries.