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Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more important in our community than the health of our community, the education of our community and that members of our community, as we have so heart-wrenchingly heard this morning, have a safe place to call home.
Within Health, Education and Housing, the Health budget is an area for us to look across in this week as we make our budget replies and scrutinise what the budget papers say versus what ministers and others from the other side say verbally about the documents before us.
On that, if possible just with eye contact, could I confirm from the Premier and Minister for Health whether in his comment about the cuts he said that there had been a transfer from the Health budget of $250 million to the Treasurer's reserve and that was what accounted for the documented cuts in the Health budget as we are allocating and looking at this week? I am not getting any eye contact from the Minister for Health so I will assume that is what he said.
From my first glance across the Budget papers as they were delivered last week, I noted with great interest that the Health budget indicated a reduction in investment from this Government. It is in black and white. The Minister for Health might talk about moving the deck chairs but the reality is that the estimated outcome for the Health budget in the 2021-22 year is $2.7 billion, and in the 2022-23 it is $2.6 billion. There is actually a reduction in the indicated spending for health of $126 million.
Some people in this place might not feel that that is a material figure. Some people in this place operate and live in such a bubble that they forget the impact and the reality of these vast numbers that we deal with and talk about all day, every day. The reality is, it is not just that there is a cut recognised in this Budget in the 2022-23 year, but further again compared to the position as an estimated outcome in 2021-22, there is also a cut in the 2023-24 year of some $53 million. I question if this Government sees that this number is not material?
It in fact speaks to allocations that we are discussing all the time of where $50 million could make a big difference in our community. Also, curiously, as I speak a little later about the Launceston General Hospital and investments there, the complete figure that is invested in what they talk about as their second stage of the masterplan, which was meant to be a $580 million investment, is talked about in their Budget papers. It seems that Budget papers can say one thing, you would assume that that is fact, but members and ministers can stand and say anything. I would like a clarification, if that is in fact what the Health minister said, and if there is a moving of the deck chairs. When you go back to look at the Treasurer's reserve in the documents, there is only $150 million allocated in the Treasurer's reserve.
It is what was allocated last year. Going forward, there will be only $50 million allocated each year and so that movement does not make sense. What also does not make sense is that when the Launceston General Hospital is under so much pressure, when its results - not for want of trying or not for the passionate delivery of services by our incredible nurses, our paramedics, our support staff in the hospital - we unfortunately see really bad outcomes: bad bed block, bad ambulance ramping and extraordinary waiting lists.
We see and we have heard personal accounts this morning from our shadow health minister about the impact that nurses are feeling. I have friends and family working in the LGH who are expected, sometimes - and I am sure it is not the normal way of behaving - but they feel like they are guilted into doing extra shifts. People who have just started in their career and have said, 'I cannot believe that when I started this, if I knew what this was like, I would never have entered this area'.
People are leaving the sector. We cannot afford to do that. People that are choosing to take leave because they cannot cope anymore; managers are taking leave because they cannot cope with the pressure. What does that say to the people who are working their teams? It is an extraordinary set of circumstances that we find ourselves in, in the Launceston community and, I am sure, no doubt, in other communities across Tasmania. When we have such dire situations, the community looks to leaders for honesty.
They look to leaders for integrity and to tell the truth about the realities so that they can trust that real action and real work will happen. When in two elections in a row, an announcement is made of $580 million for the further development and redevelopment of the LGH, they expect that to be a reality. When you read your Budget papers, and I am sure many Tasmanians do, there is a statement of fact in there, and it says: 'Funding of $580 million is allocated'. It is not allocated.
When you read the papers, and I can remember being dumbfounded in my first year in parliament last year, where I went to reference some of the commentary that was in the Budget papers to the actual allocation in the line item, and that line item for the LGH stage two of the masterplan, which was this, 'I will bring in the votes by announcing $580 million' had zero dollars allocated. Four dashes along the line, with zero allocations. 33 Wednesday 1 June 2022 It is not actually not much better this year. Again, these massive announcements and determined statements of investment. When you do the maths, just in the 2022-23 year, $2 million.
Then $5 million, and I talked about $50 million which is a lot of money. That $50 million is the amount that the cuts continue to be from real turns, two years ahead in the actual health budget, but it is only nearly $50 million of the $580 million that this Government said it was going to deliver. People in Launceston and northern Tasmania are used to the way that this Government makes announcements to try to please the community.
There are announcements about the Tamar Bridge - not in the Budget. There are announcements about dredging; there are announcements about the LGH. Our community deserves better. There are real cuts in health at a time where our system is in crisis and the people working on behalf of our community need greater respect and greater care.
1st June 2022 - 11:48am