Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Goondoon St yesterday.
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Goondoon St yesterday. Jen Tybell

All quiet on the policy front

THERE'S still no word on policies from the Federal Opposition.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who was in Gladstone yesterday, refused to even comment on how far along the Liberal National Party's Federal Health policy was.

“Look, I'm not just going to go into that,” he said.

It was similar when questioned about expanding the Gladstone Hospital to provide more beds, which the party has been talking about for months.

“We don't run the public hospital system and even under Mr Rudd's proposal the feds would not run public hospitals,” Mr Abbott said.

“They are just going to be providing 60 per cent as opposed to 40 per cent of the recurrent funding of public hospitals and it will be up to the Queensland Government whether or not to expand Gladstone Hospital.

“But I am confident that once you see our policy, you would be able to say that if a government wanted to do more it would be easier to facilitate under our policy than under Mr Rudd's.

“Essentially, our position on hospitals is that they need more beds and not more bureaucrats.” He said the Labor Party's proposal would basically create nine new funding bureaucracies, a pricing agency and a standards agency.

“If you look at the budget figures, it's a bit hard to know from the figures exactly how much these bureaucracies are going to cost, but it looks like in the order of $500 million over the forward estimates period just to create these new bureaucracies.

“That's not the way forward. We don't need new health bureaucracies. We need more beds in hospitals.”

Mr Abbott also hit out at the Rudd government's super clinics, asking if work had started yet on the Gladstone clinic.

He also asked if there were any doctors or nurses to staff it yet.

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Abbott's flying visit



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