House debates

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Statements by Members


1:59 pm

Photo of Stephen JonesStephen Jones (Throsby, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Infrastructure) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I ask the House why the coalition is continuing to punish rural and regional patients, and why the National Party has gone into hiding as their budget plan goes from bad to worse?

This week we learned that patients in rural and regional Australia will be the hardest hit by the Abbott government's $1.2 billion hike to PBS medicines. The top 12 electorates are set to pay the highest out-of-pocket expenses and they will be in rural and regional areas. You have to ask yourself, 'Where is the National Party on this issue? Have they gone into hiding?'

Before the election they were traipsing from town to town promising to reduce the costs of medicines and doctors, and that they were going to have a minister dedicated full-time to health. They even indicated that they were going to lower the PBS safety net. That is because they know the truth—they know that Australians in rural and regional areas— (Time expired)