House debates

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Questions without Notice


2:23 pm

Photo of Alicia PayneAlicia Payne (Canberra, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Women from Yass Valley are currently forced to travel an hour to Canberra or Goulburn to give birth. As a result, a number of women have been forced to give birth on the side of the Barton Highway. Does the Prime Minister agree that that is unacceptable?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Well, I'm pleased to let the member know that's why we've committed $150 million to upgrade the Barton Highway, which includes the duplication of the highway from the ACT border towards Murrumbateman—

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The members on my left! The Prime Minister will pause for a second. The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr Conroy interjecting

Mr Clare interjecting

The member for Shortland is warned. The member for Blaxland will cease interjecting.

Dr Chalmers interjecting

The member for Rankin is now warned for incessant interjecting. The Prime Minister has the call.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I was asked about the Barton Highway. I was also asked about health, and I'll come to both matters. The commitment will improve safety and reduce travel times for all motorists on that busy stretch from Yass to Canberra.

When it comes to issues regarding hospitals, under the new hospitals agreement we have signed with the New South Wales government, there'll be some $40 billion provided over the next five years, delivering an additional $9.3 billion for funding in that hospital sector. Now, specifically, I also note that the Southern NSW Local Health District received $107.8 million in community activity-based funding for public hospital services in 2018-19. And that is an increase of 64.5 million—or 149 per cent—on what we inherited back in 2012-13. So this government has increased funding for hospital services in that area, and in New South Wales, and across the country, to ensure that we can provide the support, whether it is for maternity services or other important hospital services all around the country. We're fighting for the funding to ensure that it can continue to be provided, whether it's in Eden-Monaro or anywhere else; the Labor Party, as I said before, are only fighting each other.