PETER DUTTON: I just wanted to make a couple of comments about Nicola Roxon’s latest backflip.
Kevin Rudd promised in 2007 that the Labor Party would fix public hospitals.
Julia Gillard promised only four months ago that she had an agreement. It turned out that it was a Heads of Agreement to agree at a later date and the wheels are falling off Labor’s health reforms.
Nobody could recognise the current package compared to the package that Labor took to the 2007, or even the 2010, election.
Australian patients are the losers out of Labor’s backflips on health.
The fact is that Nicola Roxon is completely humiliated today because she has been rolled by the states. There’s some secret report that Nicola’s trying to hide behind, but the fact is that Labor has broken its key promises in relation to its health policy.
And right now Australian patients should feel very angry about the backflips - the latest backflips - by a Labor Government that is out of control.
The second thing I wanted to say was in relation to private health insurance.
Nicola Roxon today is making veiled threats against the Independents to take away money that had already been promised if the Independents don’t support the Government’s crazy private health insurance cuts.
Now driving up health premiums by 10 per cent for Australian families at a time when they just can’t afford extra costs of living just doesn’t make any sense; and now for Nicola Roxon to say to the Independents that she’s threatening to take away money already negotiated – already promised - to Independents I think shows the level of desperation that is on this Government now.
This Gillard Government is a shambolic Government. There are policy backflips every day and when it comes to health they just have not delivered one thing for Australian patients.
JOURNALIST: Do you know if the Independents will side with you and vote against the private health changes?
PETER DUTTON: Well I’m confident that the Independents will do the right thing by the Australian people when it comes to private health insurance.
The Independents don’t want to see extra pressure on our public hospitals.
The Independents don’t want to see families facing out of pocket expenses going through the roof under Julia Gillard’s plan. And also it’s important to remember that there is a huge impact - a negative impact - on rural communities out of these proposed changes.
That’s why I think the Independents will vote down what is a very bad policy.