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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Premier and Treasurer secure more than $400 million extra for Queensland hospitals, but more needed

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Friday, April 01, 2016

    Premier and Treasurer secure more than $400 million extra for Queensland hospitals, but more needed

    Queensland has secured more than $400 million from the Australian Government for Queensland hospitals, but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned deep Canberra cuts would impact on healthcare and patients.

    The Premier said following negotiations at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra today, Queensland hospitals should receive at least $445 million more over three years (from 2017-18 to 2019-20).

    Funding to be received by the States will be negotiated in an addendum to the Heads of Agreement.

    “The extra funding is welcomed. However, it barely restores a quarter of the funding over three years that Tony Abbott cut in 2014,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Malcolm Turnbull has taken a small step forward, but he has also ensured health will be a major issue at the upcoming Federal election.”

    At the COAG meeting attended by the Premier and Treasurer, Ms Palaszczuk said she and Treasurer Curtis Pitt had warned the reduction in the Australian Government funding would have a direct impact on the ability to hire the additional doctors, nurses and allied health professionals needed and the services and procedures they can administer.

    “Tony Abbott cut $11.8 billion from our hospitals over 10 years. Malcolm Turnbull has restored some funding, but more is needed including a long-term commitment from Canberra,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “Even with this deal, the Australian Government’s share of funding for Queensland hospitals will continue to fall. The shortfall over the next three years is almost $1.2 billion.”

    Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government knew healthcare services and hospitals were a priority for Queenslanders and it committed a record $14.2 billion budget in 2015-16.

    “Queensland is a big, decentralised State. More than half of Australia’s remote hospitals are in Queensland. We have a growing population and growing health costs,” he said.

    “The Australian Government claims the States are using them as an ATM. The fact is Canberra refuses to restore funding to the States and are seeking to transfer that burden to the States.”

    Education

    The Premier ensured education was discussed at COAG.

    “Unfortunately, the Prime Minister refused to restore any of the $6 billion cut to education (from 2017-18 to 2024-25) that Tony Abbott implemented in 2014,” she said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of education and we have invested a record $9 billion.

    “The Prime Minister has assured me he won’t cut more, but Abbott’s cuts for Queensland schools will remain. It undermines his own Government’s focus on innovation.”

    Mental health and dental care National Partnership Agreements

    The Premier said the Queensland Government had also not been assured about the future of the National Partnership Agreements for mental health and dental care.

    These agreements expire in June. The dental care agreement provided for $30.3 million for services in Queensland in 2015-16, while the mental health agreement provided for $10.4 million over the same period.

    Taxation

    Mr Pitt said while COAG agreed to look at a model for the States to receive a share of personal income tax collected by the Australian Government, this was not proposed to provide any additional revenue for States.

    “The proposal, as presented to COAG, would not provide extra funding for schools or hospitals,” he said.

    "Rather, the approach would be aimed at reducing the number of tied grants from the Australian Government to allow greater flexibility in terms of how the States spend those dollars.

    “I welcome the Prime Minister ruling out requiring States to raise their own income tax, however we will continue to remind Mr Turnbull that the fiscal gap created by the Coalition Government is the issue that began the tax reform discussion and that discussion is not over yet.”

    Media contact: 3719 7000