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Thursday, 14 August 2003
Page: 18623

Mr RANDALL (9:43 AM) —I would like to report on three surveys that I conducted during the six weeks that we spent in our electorates since last we were here. The first survey that I conducted in my electorate was in relation to the federal government's offer to the states on the health care funding in the new package that is being negotiated. In Western Australia, we are offering the Gallop government $1 billion extra over the five-year period, and the Gallop government have disingenuously said that they will reject this. But, surprise, surprise, in their state budget this year they included it in their bottom line, which to me seems quite hypocritical and dishonest. The overwhelming results of the survey—and I have never before had a survey returned to me in such numbers—were that the people in the electorate of Canning ask that the state government accept the federal government's offer, because they need that injection of cash into the hospitals, and they ask that it be done forthwith. I have returned that letter, saying the same, to Dr Gallop.

The second survey I conducted, which will come as no surprise to the member for Gilmore, was a survey on the private member's bill which is going before this House in relation to the desecration and burning of the Australian flag. This survey, which I conducted in the electorate, also had an overwhelming response. The overwhelming response was that the people are asking us to protect the Australian flag from desecration and burning and give it the dignity and respect that it should have.

I humbly ask all members of this House to seriously consider this private member's bill. It is not a political bill; it is a bill generated from the people on behalf of the people where, once and for all, the decision on the protection of the Australian flag will be decided in this House. I understand we will be given time to debate this fully in the House at some time during this parliament. It is very important that members treat this in a bipartisan way so we can reflect the wishes of our constituents on this issue.

Finally, the third survey I am conducting in certain areas of my electorate is on problems experienced in some of the outlying areas in my electorate to do with coverage by Telstra in both telecommunications and communications, including television. Again, the response has been that there are a number of problems which constituents believe can be fixed. As a result, they understand that we have endeavoured to keep up with technology on these issues. In the last few seconds that I have got, I want to say that BigPond has now got an IDSN facility which is as cheap as ADSL and I encourage people to take advantage of it.