Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:33): Australia is facing a healthcare emergency—not the false emergency that those opposite are trying to convince the Australian people of, but one of their own making. This morning I stood with the member for Ballarat and dozens of Labor members with a rally of nurses and midwives from across Australia to protest against the lies and broken promises of this government. Over $50 billion has been gutted from our public hospital system, and it is going to send the health system in this country back 50 years—an ill-considered and unfair GP tax that will do exactly what it is designed to do, and that is stop patients going to see their doctor.
Before the election the Prime Minister said there would be no cuts to the healthcare system. Not even a year later, every Australian is starting to see the impact of these cuts—a $7 GP tax every time they go to the doctor, get a blood test or seek an X-ray. This is going to affect all Australians, but it is going to have a devastating effect on regional and rural Australia. In my region alone, where over 91.7 per cent of GP consultations are being bulk-billed, this is going to be hit on the head. Over $5.5 million is going to be ripped from the pockets of consumers through this horrible— (Time expired)