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Tuesday, 15 December 1992
Page: 5049


Senator PATTERSON (8.22 p.m.) —by leave—I move:

4.Clause 6, page 4, proposed subsection 26(1), lines 12 to 20, omit the subsection, substitute the following subsection:

  Medicare Principles and Commitments

  "26.(1) Where a State provides public hospital services in that State, the State in providing those services will recognise and promote the Medicare Principles and Commitments listed below:

  (a)in the manner required by subsections (3) to (6) and the Agreement; and

  (b)within the timetable set out in the Agreement.".

7.Clause 6, page 6, proposed subsection 26(3), line 1, omit "To give effect to the Medicare Principles and Commitments, a State must", substitute "To promote and recognise the Medicare Principles and Commitments, a State is to".

8.Clause 6, page 6, proposed subsection 26(7), line 31, omit "adopt", substitute "promote and recognise".

9.Clause 6, page 6, proposed subsection 26(8), line 32, omit "`adopt'", substitute "`promote and recognise'".

The coalition amendment seeks to remove the Government's intention to make it a condition of the grant of financial assistance to a State that the State gives effect to certain Medicare principles and commitments which are outlined in the legislation. This sensible amendment will require the States to recognise and promote the principles and commitments outlined in the section. However, it will mean that the States and Territories will not face the prospect of losing financial assistance if they do not give effect to the principles and commitments.

  Our amendments do not mean that the requirements upon the States in sections 26(3) and section 26(8) will be removed. These requirements will remain. However, under our consequential amendments Nos 7, 8 and 9, the undertaking of these requirements will mean that a State has recognised and promoted the principles and commitments.