Nielsen: 54-46

The latest Nielsen poll has Labor’s two-party lead at 54-46, down from 56-44 in November. The Coalition is up four points on the primary vote to 41 per cent, with Labor steady on 42 per cent (no figure is provided for the Greens as far as I can see). The Prime Minister’s personal ratings have taken a hit, his approval rating down six to 60 per cent and disapproval up four to 33 per cent. The poll is the first since Tony Abbott became Liberal leader, and finds him with 44 per cent approval and 41 per cent disapproval. Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is 58-31, compared with 67-21 in the twilight of Turnbull’s leadership. The sample size was 1400. Elsewhere:

• Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports Paul Nicolaou, the Liberal Party fundraiser who failed to retain John Brogden’s old seat of Pittwater at a 2006 by-election, will seek preselection for the state upper house. Also in the hunt for the three “at large” positions on the Liberal ticket (the remaining places are selected on a regional basis) are moderate incumbent Catherine Cusack; Peter Phelps, former chief-of-staff to defeated Eden-Monaro MP Gary Nairn (whose alleged political smarts once led him to compare Nairn’s Labor opponent, war hero Mike Kelly, to a Nazi concentration camp guard); Natasha MacLaren-Jones, Right faction state party vice-president and former staffer to Senator Helen Coonan; Dai Le, a former Radio National producer who ran in Cabramatta at the 2008 by-election held after the departure of Reba Meagher; Pat Daley, a former Salvation Army spokesman; and Frank Oliveri, a Fairfield councillor said to be backed by David Clarke. They might yet be joined by Clarke himself if he proves unable to retain his existing position as the candidate representing north-western Sydney. Clarke hopes to retain that position through a deal in which he will back Cusack in exchange for support from moderates. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Clarke’s foes in the Alex Hawke camp claim he could secure as few as 30 of the available 90 votes, with many moderates allegedly refusing to fall in as directed behind Clarke. As well as the Hawke-backed David Elliott, the position will be contested by “Robyn Preston, a Hills councillor, Tony Issa, a Parramatta councillor, and Nick Tyrrell, a Blacktown councillor”.

Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Robyn Parker, Liberal state upper house member and factional moderate, will contest preselection for the Labor-held lower house seat of Maitland after recognising she will be unable to retain her existing position. While it was reported last year that the way had been smoothed for her to win the Maitland nomination through the amendment of the preselection timetable, Ian Kirkwood of the Newcastle Herald reports she faces rival contenders in Maitland councillors Bob Geoghegan and Stephen Mudd and Newcastle councillor Brad Luke. The issue will be decided by 30 local branch members and eight head office representatives on Saturday, February 21.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports three candidates have confirmed they will put their names forward for Labor preselection in Macarthur: Nick Bleasdale, the candidate in 2007, Paul Nunnari, former wheelchair athlete and adviser to state MP Graham West, and Greg Warren, the deputy mayor of Camden. Hughes is said by Coorey to be claimed by the Right, factional home to candidates Greg Holland and Brent Thomas, but the Left might yet seek to upset the Right’s applecart by putting forward Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller. Both have been made winnable by redistribution and the impending departure of their Liberal members, Danna Vale and Pat Farmer.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

4,247 comments on “Nielsen: 54-46”

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  1. vera #4093

    Abbotts hospital policy, public hospital to get management board
    Only for NSW and QLD though
    Sounds like more money wasted on bureaucracy to me

    What do you think Diog?

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-unveils-coalition-hospitals-plan-20100214-nyzy.html

    Don’t know about Diog; but I think it shows Abbott knows F* all about the Q “Centres, adjuncts & Base Hospital” systems!

    I posted on this at length yesterday – and that’s from personal experience & observation Let me add that Brisbane’s & adjuncts (inc Toowoomba) cancer treatment (with which I am much too sadly familiar) is Internationally recognised as one of the world’s best “cutting edge” centres. (OK, this one’s “at even greater length”; but it’s referenced to the most credible of sources! This is the truth the Courier Mail, & Mrs CM Ed Madonna King ignore, because they don’t want you to know!)

    To help you cut through party-political & MSM spin, misrepresentation & lies, I’ve linked you to some (but not all) of the top Cancer research, treatment & surgery centres. These are generic centres They co-operate: share facilities, equipment, personnel, expertise etc (“bump” patients if necessary) – all private hospitals involved have public patients & attract federal & state, funding.

    It might also help explain one (of several) important reasons there’s such a high & continuing influx of Interstate “migrants” to SEQ – its hospitals, public & private!

    Each hospital has its separate management committee – the vertical structure – but Centre structures also provide a horizontal structure. If Abbott gets his “let’s all go back to where hospitals were a generation or two ago” way, he will threaten the very close “horizontal structures” that have developed in the almost 2 decades since Q Boards were abolished. Cancer’s only the area I know reasonable well; neurological surgery & transplant surgery somewhat.

    Re neurological research & surgery: UQ hosts Queensland brain Institute Hospital-based centres are at Royal Brisbane (RBH) which is closely linked to Auckland (NZ) RBWH & Wesley.
    Re Transplant surgery: Centres of High Quality Research: Brisbane

    Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
    º For three decades arguably Australia’s leading liver research centre; focus on genetic liver disease especially the iron overload disorder haemochromatosis and liver cancer
    Princess Alexandra Hospital
    º Focus on hepatitis C, cirrhosis and iron metabolism with various clinical trials involving new therapies for hepatitis C.

    Qld was one of Australia’s & the world’s first renal transplant units <a href=http://www.nephrology.edu.au/researchopportunities/qld.asp

    The Princess Alexandra Hospital Nephrology Department enjoys the best patient survival rates of any dialysis and kidney transplant centre in Australia and New Zealand. The Department is one of the few medical research groups in Australia to receive NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence status and funding.

    Since 2005, our unit has received the endorsement of, and funding by, Kidney Health Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and the National Health and Medical Research Council to act as the co-ordinating centre for the Australasian Kidney Trials (AKT) Network (a clinical trials network set up to conceive, co-ordinate and run multicentre clinical research trials in Nephrology in Australasia). In 2009, the AKT Network merged with the Princess Alexandra Hospital Renal Research Laboratory (a basic science research facility) to form the University of Queensland Centre for Kidney Disease Research (CKDR). The centre conducts a large range of bench-to-bedside translational research activities at both the clinical and basic science levels (including renal transplantation, peritoneal dialysis, haemodialysis and general nephrology).

    Re Cancer research & treatment:

    1. It’s centred around several specialist research facilities in UQ & several Bris public & private hospitals. Diamantina Centre (PA-Public)

    Since humble beginnings in 1996 as the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research, the Diamantina Institute has now grown to include over 200 researchers, students and support staff. Headed by 2006 Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer, the Institute leads the way in translational research into cancer, immunology and metabolic medicine.

    Based at Brisbane’s leading teaching hospital, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Diamantina Institute has strong clinical interactions and world-class facilities that enable researchers to be at the forefront of their fields. Our researchers focus their efforts at turning their scientific discoveries into better treatments for diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and osteoporosis.

    There’s this entry for B’ne hospitals & universities’ medical research:

    Brisbane is a recognised centre of excellence – home to not only the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), the largest medical research institute in the southern hemisphere, but also the Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre.
    http://www.investbrisbane.com.au/Sectors/LifeSciences.aspx

    Children’s Leukemia and Cancer Research Foundationis currently at Royal Brisbane – its International collaborators are listed at the page’s beginning; this is a WBP Foundation. It will move when the new Children’s hospital is built on the Mater site

    UQ is host to the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) Australia’s leading facility for pharmaceutical research, education and drug commercialization, while Griffith University partners with global giants AstaZeneca and Pfizer in the natural drug discovery arena. The world’s largest agribusiness company, Swissbased Syngenta, chose Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as its international partner in the commercial development of a sugar cane-based ethanol industry. This is the first time Syngenta has established a partnership of this type with an academic body.

    Then there’s Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer

    The Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer (QCGC) is the largest gynaecological cancer service in Australia and is responsible for the provision of gynaecological cancer services in Queensland. Currently there are two major centres in Brisbane at the Mater Health Services complex in South Brisbane and at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Herston.

    The Wesley Hospital is renowned for its comprehensive cancer services with an emphasis on breast & prostate cancer, “including radiation oncology, chemotherapy, positron emission tomography, brachytherapy, inpatient palliative care and bone marrow transplantation” conducted within a context of “internal and external partnerships in care, teaching and research.”

    Dr Peter Swindle, specialist unologist (works from the Mater and Wesley Hs) is one of those Cancer specialists in the Mater & its adjuncts. Other Mater research areas are Gynaecology Cancer Research Team

    I’m sure most if not all other states have similarly brilliant medical research centres that make a mockery of the Liberal/ MSM meme that states can’t manage health care. In fact, the MSM focuses on “the black spots” (like Q’s Bundy) and ignores the rest, in the hope that gullible readers/ viewers will fall for the MSM line.

    Q’s ex-Oppo leader (of “Let’s draw straws: fame) Dr Bruce Flegg and his “Doctors/ Western Suburbs” Liberal Faction might want to go back to the “good old days”of doctor-dominated HBs before Research Institutes & Researchers dominated leading hospital structures & treatment regimes; when private & public kept a seemly distance. But Abbott’s uninformed Brain-snap is a sure way to alienate all those stakeholders in Brisbane’s World Class University-Private & Public Hospital medical structures … and that’s a hellava lot of medical, patients & families votes!

  2. Earth Hour will be held from 8.30pm on Saturday 27 March 2010.

    ” From a people’s movement established in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour
    has evolved into a global event, capturing the hopes of over one
    billion people in 4,400 cities worldwide. Earth Hour demonstrates
    people’s concern about global warming and their willingness to take
    action to reduce its impacts “
    Clover Moore MP said on Friday.

  3. [The Coalition says if it wins the next election, it will give every major public hospital in New South Wales and Queensland a management board, doing away with local area health bureaucracies.]

    How?

  4. Peter Young
    Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    ‘Watching how Labor backbenchers these days are mainly cyphers, appearing on the Parliamentary “doors” mouthing the LIES given to them by a flack from the Prime Minister’s office….’
    Michelle Grattan, This is no fun camp: show underperformers to the door .

    10 minutes pass , NO acusation made , NO corection by PY eithr

    Ron
    Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink
    Gus,
    PY #3885 delib changed Grattans word ‘lines’ for “lies”

    a FURTHER 10 minutes pass ( now 20 minutes hav passed ,
    still NO corection by PY eithr , DESPITE PY changing “lines” to “lies”

    Gusface
    Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink
    PY #3885 delib changed Grattans word ‘lines’ for “lies”

    then Dario at 1:16 am , accusing
    then Frank at 1:21 am

    then a further 21 minutes later ( and 39 minutes after I highlited his delib change:

    THEN PY , FINALLY answers at 1:42 am
    (with a correction ? No he does not !! , PY claims its all a lie !)

    then a further 3 hours of PY spamming posts , still no correcton

    th “TIME PERIODS” , espec both th first 20 min , and then th fist 39 minutes , then th 3 hours , without seeking to corect , is th KO punchs ,

    th now unbeleive claim that PY transposed 28 words , instead of copy pasting , 2nd KO

    th now unbelieveable PY just got one (th important one) of th 28 words wrong , 3rd KO

    th now even MORE unbelievable PY claim that in transposing , he got JUST ONE letter wrong , one out 146 letters ,
    and that that 1 of 146 by coincidense , changes Grattan’s whole meaning , 4th KO

    Claiming pattheticaly 8 hrs later , you did not tell th truth because no one wuld believe you ,is precisely th defense of someone who took 8 hours to construct such a lie defense , for which th facts above expoze

  5. [Mr Abbott says the boards would be given a set amount of public funding, but would also be free to raise funds from private patients or through fundraising.]

    “raise funds from private patients” very interesting. Is Tone proposing that people with private health insurance have to pay extra to attend a public hospital?

    Even the LNP in Qld have walked away from this loopy idea.

  6. Believe Labor is telling th Greens they better vote for 5% ETS linked to when world makes a deel ,

    RATHER than Greens stupid CC polisy that DOES provide for only th same 5% cut till 2002 ( AS PER Garnauts own modeling)

  7. It will be very interesting what the auditors will discover when they audit the insulation.
    There no doubt will be a few registered installers with a few serious questions to answer.

    Insulation bloke; Have you had your roof insulated.
    Owner; no mate
    In; do you want the govt free insulation.
    Own; yeah mate
    Ins; tell ya what i’ll do, if you can put it in yourself i will drop the batts off and give you $200.00 to do it.
    Ow; Mate i did it myself about 10 years ago.
    Ins; well do you want to double up on it.

    The brochure has no registered installers number and only mobile phone contact.
    This is in Nth Qld.
    The brochure is about to be scanned and forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

  8. Gaffhook

    [Would that be normal Dio that you can talk normally without any problems but when you have to read the liNes from the skite sheet your hands and fingers really tremble?]

    I didn’t see it but shaking hands would be a sign of increased sympathetic output for whatever reason. For most people it would be that they were nervous about reading with a big audience which is a very common phobia. Or they could be nervous about what they were reading out.

  9. Gaffhook
    Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    “Would that be normal Dio that you can talk normally without any problems but when you have to read the liNes from the skite sheet your hands and fingers really tremble?

    For some reason i just thought he was fearing he may be caught out telling his liNes.”

    use th K I S S principal when people lie ,

  10. ruawake #4157

    I don’t think Abbott has a bloody clue what he’s talking about.

    Every Australian has a right to treatment in a public hospital. Anyone who ever paid the medibank/care levy (OH & I certainly did) has actually PAID for the right!

    Q public hospitals have private facilities. Many private hospitals, with gov funding, have public sections. The lines are very blurred. IMO, as long as you don’t want to be alone, and the hospital is a teaching one, go public, especially in a “What the hell’s wrong with me?” type emergency You get the local version of Dr House’s diagnostic team. In Q, that’s always been the case!

    Like all Q’ers, OH , in hospital recently, and with private health cover, HAD to be given a choice – forms & declarations provided for reading before making a choice. Since choice of private doctor & specialists for a specific purpose didn’t apply, OH chose public; but could have had a private room & facilities across the corridor, two doors down! These days, availability of diagnostic & treatment hardware etc is a significant factor.

    So, given the above, what the bloody hell is Abbott talking about?

  11. [Why is Abbott only saying he’ll bring in the hospital boards in NSW and Qld but not in the other states?]

    Maybe J-PL and O’Farrell were the only ones who agreed?

  12. [So, given the above, what the bloody hell is Abbott talking about?]

    He is regurgitating the LNP policy from the Qld election.

    It was called something like “Public Hospital cost recovery initiative” The Borg said he could recoup $20 million per annum by charging private patients using public hospitals.

  13. OPT and ru

    My guess is that Abbott is trying to say public hospitals should encourage private patients to go there and use their private health insurance. People have been trying to do that for ages and it never works because

    1. You don’t have to use your private insurance in a public hospital
    2. If you get more private patients, you have less room for the public ones and waiting lists go up.

    It’s a fancifully simplistic solution to a much more complicated problem.

  14. [It’s a fancifully simplistic solution to a much more complicated problem.]

    Which really sums up the Liberal Party policy we have seen this year.

  15. [I think current LNP Queensland policy is to sit back and watch Blight implode.

    Seems to be working a treat.]

    Yeah – they are in Opposition in a unicameral parliament for at least another two years. 😛

  16. [Yeah – they are in Opposition in a unicameral parliament for at least another two years.]

    Christ get over yourself.

    Gloating about being in power “for x years” while being so far behind in the polls is pathetic. We should be able to do what they did in California and have a public iniated election.

  17. [We should be able to do what they did in California and have a public iniated election.]

    The Sydney Morning Herald has been trying it’s hardest in NSW.

  18. [We should be able to do what they did in California and have a public iniated election.]
    Even when your side is in power HTT?

  19. [Gloating about being in power “for x years” while being so far behind in the polls is pathetic.]

    Nah, its called gloating. 🙂

  20. [I don’t think Howard was ever 10% TPP behind though.]
    So is 10% the cut off point then? What determines an early election and who?

  21. [Labor is actually 18% behind in Queensland.]
    At the moment, according to one poll. Do we call early elections on that criteria?

  22. [At the moment, according to one poll. Do we call early elections on that criteria?]

    Blights got no chance at the next election.

    The fuel subsidy cut and the rego increases have sealed her fate.

    Now it’s just a waiting game, and the shitty thing is she did this right after being re-elected(the public should be able to sue for being misinformed at the last election)

  23. [ how can “they get over themselves” ,

    when they ar full of themslves ]

    Good one Ron.

    Its always amused me how the coalition, *the born to rule mob* con so ‘too many’ blue collar workers and ‘some’ people from the bush that they care a fig for them.

    Up to them of course, but just look what the libs do in power, who ends up with the treasure, the tax breaks etc and who is left with the shit sandwich.

  24. If we are to be governered by opinion poll, no govt would ever make an unpopular decision. More simplistic crud from the supporter of the party of simplistic crud.

  25. [Its always amused me how the coalition, *the born to rule mob* con so ‘too many’ blue collar workers and ’some’ people from the bush that they care a fig for them.]

    Don’t know what you are talking about, I voted Labor at the last federal election.

    I did vote Libs at the last state election though cos I knew after 10 Years, the government would get compacent as they always do and screw over the punters… which surprise surprise… Blight did right after the election.

  26. Diog

    In Victoria, we already have local boards ‘running’ hospitals (I know, I’m on one) and have had since at least 2000 (a couple of years before that, but that’s when I was first appointed).

    If local boards are the panacea to all that’s wrong with health, as TA seems to suggest, then I suppose Vic is way out there ahead of the rest of the states, by virtue of the wisdom and local knowledge people like myself bring to running hospitals.

    (Tongue very firmly in cheek there…)

  27. [Blight did right after the election.]
    It’s a pity you’re not as good at answering questions as you are with the childish name calling.

  28. Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:33

    “It’s (Abbott) a fancifully simplistic solution to a much more complicated problem.”

    you hav complete missed Abbotts budgie wedgies

    It IS th Liberal philosofy solution to a “complicated problem.”
    th first very thin wedgie to Public Hospitals to “user pay”

    Liberals prefer all Hospitals on th private enterprize system , user pays , for profit

    Using medical logic on Abbott ? , a Liberal politcal extreme idealogue of free enterpise , a la workchoises , Public Hospitals fit th same thoughts

  29. Rudd Pro-crastinates on hospitals.

    Just bloody take over the hospitals already you lightweight! I’m sick of Labor taking the leftie soft touch way out of making hard decisions.

    You said if the health system wasn’t fixed in 1 year you’d take over hospitals. Well it’s been 1 year and they are still a mess. Stop the bullshit… stop the Rot… do what you promised at the election and TAKE OVER THE HOSPITAL SYSTEM NOW!

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/kevin-rudd-concedes-reform-for-health-system-is-urgent/story-e6frgczf-1225830213617

    [PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd maintains the health system is in need of “urgent surgery”, but has defended the time it has spent on the waiting list.

    At least six months past his own deadline for a federal takeover of hospitals, Mr Rudd said the government’s objective had not changed.

    “We make no apology for the fact that we’ve taken longer than was planned to finalise this strategy,” he told Network Ten.

    “We haven’t exactly been sitting on our hands for the last two years … the key is to get long-term reform right.”

    Before the 2007 election, Mr Rudd promised to seize control of the country’s hospitals by mid-2009 if the states and territories had not begun a national reform plan.

    Mr Rudd today defended the wait time, saying millions of Australians were depending on the government not to make mistakes.]

  30. [You said if the health system wasn’t fixed in 1 year you’d take over hospitals.]

    Now you’re channeling Peter Dutton, Rudd did not say he would fix the hospital system in 1 year.

  31. Diogenes #4163

    Why is Abbott only saying he’ll bring in the hospital boards in NSW and Qld but not in the other states?

    1. Because labor looks vulnerable in both states
    2. He hasn’t done his “homework” (does he ever)
    3. He’s spent too much time listening to Q Liberals like Bruce Flegg who, before being elected in 2004, had a very entrepreneurial approach the provision of medical services Bruce Flegg is Queensland’s richest politician

    Dr Flegg, who set up a chain of medical practices before entering politics, was included in last year’s Queensland’s Top 100 Rich List, with an estimated worth of $20 million.

    Dio, if you cast your mind back to early 2007, Howard Gov Minister Santo Santoro was forced to resign as Minister & MP Although his failure to “reveal all” in his pecuniary interests portfolio (and lying about it) was the shove off the end of the parliamentary plank, it was this conflict of interest Santoro shares in ‘interest’ companies that forced him onto it!

    Senator Santo Santoro reportedly may have held shares in 10 companies with interests in the aged care and health portfolio while he was minister … This includes his owning shares in IBA Health Ltd, a company that provides software to aged care homes in Australia.

    Other possible conflicts include shareholdings in senior accommodation firm Village Life Ltd and Nomad Building Solutions, which deals in retirement villages.

    He was also involved in other dirty dealings with other Q Libs, inc Andrew Lamming Santo Santoro and the PM’s poor taste in friends But, most importantly, the stench of corruption hung over Santoro’s Liberal mate’s windfall & Egan wasn’t the only beneficiary.

    A LIBERAL Party mate of Minister for Ageing Santo Santoro boasted of hitting the “jackpot” after scoring a lucrative government handout for his $15.5 million nursing home venture.
    Russell Egan Jr, a Brisbane Liberal branch chairman, last month secured 94 taxpayer-funded bed licenses for a yet-to-be built nursing home on vacant land at Merrimac on the Gold Coast.
    It was the second-biggest allocation in the state. But a “bed-ready” facility in the same aged-care planning region at nearby Carrara was refused funding.
    Mr Egan wrote on his weblog that securing 94 bed licences was a “massive asset to receive from taxpayers”

    Q Liberals do seem to have a very NeoCon very “entrepreneurial” approach to health services, especially where their own wealth is concerned. Santo was also virilently anti ABC, abortion, euthanasia etc. Interesting!

  32. HTT – What determines an early election and who?
    Notice how this question is being ignored. No answers HTT? Surprise, surprise, surprise. All verbal garbage and no solutions. No wonder you’ll vote for Abbott.

  33. Ahh, good old Perth Now:

    [
    Minister in billionaire ski scandal
    stokes

    MINISTER goes skiing with WA billionaire TV station owner before announcing a $250 million gift to TV networks.

    * TV concession: ‘Good time Conroy must explain’
    * Stokes defends licence-fee cut]

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/

  34. I read that one reason for the increased stress on the health system was due to changes brought about by Workchoices. Those reports quote increased visits to GP’s since ten years ago.

    That is Workchoices made it almost mandatory or gave employers power demand workers to have a medical certificate for even one day sick leave.

    Previously one day crook would see you back at work next day, now with hassle and expense seeing doc more often than not turns to two.

  35. [Now you’re channeling Peter Dutton, Rudd did not say he would fix the hospital system in 1 year.]

    And I didn’t say he’d fix it by 1 Year, so you are putting words in my mouth.

    I said… and very clearly, he would take over the hospital system within 1 year if it wasn’t fixed.

    And heres the election promise folks, Labor Hacks hold onto your seats:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/23/2012915.htm
    [Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has signalled that a federal Labor government would be prepared to take over the running of hospitals from the states.

    Mr Rudd has announced that Labor would invest an extra $2 billion in hospitals.

    He has also announced that he would take over running the country’s 750 public hospitals if state and territory governments have not agreed to a national reform plan by the middle of 2009.

    He says the reform plan would be aimed at eliminating duplication and overlap, and stop buck-passing between the states and Commonwealth.

    “The Commonwealth blaming the states and vice versa doesn’t help the problem when you’re sick,” he told a news conference.

    “It’s time to end the blame game between Canberra and the states on health and hospitals.”

    Mr Rudd says he will call a referendum for the Commonwealth to take over the running of hospitals if necessary, but he hopes that such action can be avoided.

    “We believe we could do that cooperatively and we believe therefore it would not be necessary to go to the third stage,” he said.

    “But what I’m signalling very clearly is if we weren’t able to yield that sort of outcome co-operative with the states, then I believe the mood of the nation is that we need to ask the Australian people for a mandate to take Commonwealth responsibility for full funding for public hospitals.”

    Queensland Premier Peter Beattie praised Mr Rudd’s plan in State Parliament.

    “It’s the sort of thing that the Queensland Government has been demanding for years,” he said.

    “I’m right behind Kevin Rudd and so will Australians when they see his health plan.

    “This is the first time we have had a leader in this nation that’s had the courage to bring about reform in health.”]

    Queue bullshit excuses and lies from the Labor brigade.

  36. So Vic has local hospital boards, SA is going to bring them back after the election (although Labor hasn’t announced it yet and the Libs will if they win). What is the story in WA?

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