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Wednesday, 16 October 1985
Page: 1307


Senator SIDDONS(11.52) —I welcome Senator Harradine's support. I was very interested to hear his very genuine concerns about the plight of large families who strike a bad patch in terms of health. It was very sad to hear the blind support that the Opposition has given the Government in this matter. We see the Laborials in action again. Senator Messner gave no reasoned reply for the Liberals' opposition to the amendment. He said: `Oh, you know, maybe expenditure will get out of hand'. How can it get out of hand? The amendment provides for a 30 per cent rebate on medical expenses in excess of $500 a year. That is a very reasonable proposition. I have given the only figures that the Government has produced on this matter. The amounts are not very large at all. I cannot really understand why the Liberal Party is not prepared to address its mind to areas of real concern in the community, to the plight of large families that run into a series of sicknesses. I think its decision can be explained only by its blind desire to support the Government and to make sure that as little pressure as possible is applied.