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Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Page: 6112

Ms ROXON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (3:46 PM) —I speak against the comments made by the member for Menzies, who has finally lost it in this House. He has absolutely no recollection that the process for ministerial statements is to provide them, as was done, at 12 o’clock to the opposition. It is a statement about e-health, an important part of the future reform of our health system. The reason they want to talk about anything other than this topic is that they are cutting half a billion dollars out of e-health and they are looking for every other distraction they can possibly find rather than actually having a debate—with the minister standing here and the shadow minister replying—on an issue of substance. The shadow minister for health does not have anything he can say when it comes to the Liberal Party’s view on e-health because they are slashing half a billion dollars out of this system. So they are looking for every other diversion. They are pretending that the processes have not been followed. They are letting the member for Menzies off his leash to go absolutely barking in here, when he is talking about something that is nothing to do with the topic that is here for the ministerial statement.

Just minutes before we came into the chamber for question time I was in discussions with the shadow minister, with the shadow minister wanting to know if we would accept amendments on this so that the bills could be passed in the Senate. So this is a substantive health reform question. It is appropriate for it to be able to be debated here in the House. It is appropriate for there to be discussions about what is happening in the other place. And it is a complete distraction for the member for Menzies to get up and have a rant and rave about sectarianism—nothing at all to do with e-health and the significant reforms that are being introduced by this government. That is why we are seeking to suspend standing orders—in order to have this significant debate and in order to encourage the Liberal Party to actually put on the record their view about e-health.