House debates

Monday, 25 October 2010

Private Members’ Business

Mental Health

7:37 pm

Photo of Shayne NeumannShayne Neumann (Blair, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Mental illness affects every state and territory, every city, every town, every community and every family. It should be something on which we come to this place with goodwill, with friendship and with affection towards one another in looking at how we can tackle this serious problem. While, to a certain extent, I would be happy for the member for Dickson to put forward motions urging us to do more with respect to mental health and the mental illnesses that people suffer from each day, in each place and in each family, to be lectured by the member for Boothby about our alleged failings, faults and foibles with respect to what we have done in relation to mental health, in circumstances where the coalition’s record is not as they purport it to be, really sticks in my craw. This is a serious issue and it should be treated in that way, not used as a political point-scoring method by the member for Boothby.

But, if you really want to look at it and if the coalition really want to put to us what their record is with respect to health, look at what they did across the country, and I will look at what we did in my community. We know that, when the opposition leader was the minister for health—and the forward estimates indicate this; they cannot deny it—a billion dollars was taken out of the health system. What did we do when we were first elected in 2007? We immediately put money into health and hospitals across the country and lined up the states and territories in relation to that. In my community alone, we have an Ipswich GP superclinic now functioning at the University of Queensland, dealing with all kinds of health needs of people. Right beside it is the federally funded University of Queensland Psychology Clinic. If the coalition had their way, that GP superclinic would be shut down. It is the same thing with respect to health and doctors. The coalition are the ones who capped the number of doctors.


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