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Transcript: Joint Press Conference, Canberra ACT

E&OE…

SUBJECTS; Establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability; our strong Budget for a strong economy; Labor’s big new taxes;

 

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I’m joined by Minister Fletcher this morning for what I think is a very important announcement. Today I'm pleased to announce the establishment of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability. The Governor-General has now signed the letters patent which will finalise the terms of reference for the inquiry. This means that the Royal Commission can now start this very important work.

Our Government recognises that people with a disability are more likely to suffer abuse, violence and neglect and exploitation than Australians that do not have a disability, which is why we have taken action and consulted extensively across Australia on the draft terms of reference with people with disability, their families, their carers, States and Territories, the disability sector and the Opposition. I want to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation and draft terms of reference. As Minister Fletcher will go through, some 3,700 responses - which is fantastic with that level of engagement - most importantly, 30 per cent of those responses were directly from people living with a disability. Responses were provided overwhelmingly and supportive of the draft terms of reference that were circulated, particularly to the breadth of coverage and particularly to what is really at the heart of what this inquiry is all about; people living with disability have faced the most difficult of circumstances. Because of their own condition, but worse than that, it’s the lack of a culture of respect towards people with disability. That leads to abuse and mistreatment. We have to establish a culture of respect for people living with disabilities and the families who support, love and care for them.

So, Australians living with disability and their families have spoken and my Government has listened and is taking action. The Royal Commission will inquire into all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. It will cover all settings in which these abuses occurred, all settings. States and Territories have all expressed their support for this inquiry. The participation of States and Territories is fundamentally important to ensure that the Royal Commission is a truly national inquiry. Any suggestion that this inquiry could somehow proceed without the full cooperation and support of the States and Territories, is frankly ridiculous. It is absolutely essential, because so many of the settings in which people with disabilities face this very treatment, occur in those environments and in those settings. So for that to be carved out of this Royal Commission would be a great disservice to Australians living with disability. I have now written to all State Premiers and Chief Ministers inviting them to issue joint commissions under the Royal Commission legislation. In writing to them, they have all given commitments to me previously through their administrations, that they will be able to do that, that was the response they’ve given back to me on the 29th of March 2019. I expect to be able to follow through now with what we’re talking about.

The Government has also ensured this important work will be fully funded and you saw that in the Budget that was handed down on Tuesday night; $527.9 million to fully fund the work of this Royal Commission. Importantly, this includes funding to provide appropriate supports for people to participate in this Royal Commission. I'm also pleased to announce those who will lead this important work. The Royal Commission will be based in Brisbane, but it will take hearings all around the country as you would expect it to.

The Honourable Ronald Sackville AO QC will be the Chair of the Royal Commission. Justice Sackville will be supported by five other Royal Commissioners; Ms Barbara Bennett PSM, Dr. Rhonda Galbally AC, Ms Andrea Mason OAM, Mr Alastair McEwin and the Honourable John Ryan AM. These commissioners are from a diverse range of backgrounds and bring significant knowledge, experience and expertise to this inquiry. Importantly, the panel of six commissioners include those with a lived experience of disability as well as judicial and policy expertise and including Indigenous leadership. I want to thank all those commissioners who have agreed to take on this incredibly important task. The commission is expected to run for three years, with the final report by the end of April 2022, with an interim report to be provided by the end of October of 2020. We look forward to receiving the commission's recommendations.

Very much this Royal Commission has been fashioned just in the same way as the Royal Commission into Aged Care which I announced, on the basis of what was saw with the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual abuse. That was a significant and nation-changing Royal Commission and I believe this will be also, just as the aged care Royal Commission will be. This will provide the opportunity for Australians to truly understand how people with disabilities live in this country and what our obligations are to share the journey with them.

To show them the respect that they deserve as a fellow Australian, as a fellow human being.

To enable them to be all that they can be and that they and their families can experience the richness of life in this magnificent country.

Now having said that, there are enormous supports provided to people with disabilities in this country - enormous supports - and as my brother-in-law Gary always said to me; “It's not flash being disabled, but the good thing is, that it's a condition you live with in Australia and that you're an Australian'. That has always meant a lot to me.

They deserve our respect. This is so above politics, I can't tell you. I want to thank Paul Fletcher very, very much for the great work that he and the Attorney-General have done in bringing us to this point so quickly. I really look forward to the work that's going to be done here.

To all those Australians with disability, to their families, and to Gary, this is for you.

THE HON PAUL FLETCHER, MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES:  Prime Minister, thank you for your leadership on this issue which is going to make a remarkable difference, I believe, to the lives of Australians with disability and in the recognition that all of us show for the rights and dignity of people with disability.

I just want to emphasise a couple of points that the Prime Minister has spoken about. Firstly, the very extensive consultation that has been involved with arriving at the terms of reference and the arrangements for the Royal Commission. Extensive consultations of course, with State and Territory governments, we've had two meetings with the Disability Reform Council which is Commonwealth and State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for disability. The Prime Minister has written to and received responses from Premiers and Chief Ministers. We carried out extensive community consultation over a period from the 13th to the 28th of March. As the Prime Minister has said, some 3,700 responses and it was 96 per cent support for the Royal Commission looking at all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, in all settings, not just institutional settings, but all settings. The workplace, the home, schools, as well as of course in institutions. We also of course consulted with the States and Territories in relation to the commissioners and we consulted very widely on the choice of commissioners. It is I think entirely appropriate that we've got a wide range of personal experience amongst the Royal Commissioners, including people with lived experience of disability, like Rhonda Galbally and Alastair McEwin. We've got Andrea Mason to bring an Indigenous perspective, so we've got a good balance across all of the perspectives that are required for this Royal Commission to do its work.

I also want to emphasise the arrangements that have been made to ensure that people with disability are best able to engage with the Royal Commission to tell their stories. There's over $100 million allocated for advocacy and for counselling to support people with disability to engage with the Royal Commission. We're drawing on the lessons learned for example, from the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual abuse about making sure we've got the best possible arrangements in place. Of course the resourcing for this Royal Commission is comprehensive. This is properly and fully funded and resourced at $527.9 million. It does just show how inadequate was the suggestion from the Leader of the Opposition that $26 million would be enough for this Royal Commission.

We're determined to do this job properly and to make sure this Royal Commission is fully funded and fully resourced.

I'd also make the point that this fits into the broader range of disability policy that this Government is pursuing and delivering on. The National Disability Insurance Scheme, now supporting over 250,000 Australians, 78,000 of them who were not previously receiving support of any kind. We continue to be on track to get towards the bilateral estimate of 460,000 Australians supported by the NDIS at full scheme. Of course, extensive arrangements under the NDIS quality and safegards commission to safeguard and ensure the quality of services that are provided to Australians with disability and to be alert to and respond to, any indicators of services not being up to standard or inappropriate behavior. But of course, we will also be interested in the findings of the Royal Commission to further complement and develop that framework.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you Paul, happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, one of the criticisms of the banking Royal Commission was that not enough victims were able to share this story in person to the Royal Commission. Instead, it relied on cameos mostly and written submissions. Can you just elaborate on what the process is here for victims to be able to share their story? Will everyone who wants to be able to share this story, be able to do so in person to the commissioners?

PRIME MINISTER: I think these two Royal Commissions are quite different. As I said this one very much follows the model of the institutional child sexual abuse Royal Commission and the Aged Care Royal Commission is following a very similar path. That is very much the nature of this Royal Commission.

Paul may want to comment further on this, but one of the reasons why the cost of this and particularly the length of time, three years, is what has been put down, but to be honest, if they need more time they will get more time. They will of course get more time. It's not just providing the time I think for those right across the country - including those in remote areas, it's very important that those in remote communities also have the full opportunity to be engaged here - but to provide the necessary supports for people with disabilities. The very practical support that people with disabilities will require to go to this Royal Commission will be greater I suspect than any Royal Commission we've held to date. That is why it’s an expensive undertaking, but an expense that is well worth the investment to facilitate this. Because this Royal Commission will provide us I think, with as I said, a great awareness and understanding of the lives lived by people with disabilities.

MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES: The only thing I'd add to what the Prime Minister has rightly said is, in terms of the comments about the extensive resourcing allocated, including things like assisting people with hearing impairment or vision impairment to be able to tell their stories. I'd highlight that the terms of reference specifically refer to the individual experience of people with disability, at the same time as asking the Royal Commission to learn not only from the individual experience but to then to draw out the systemic conclusions.

PRIME MINISTER: So there's $379.1 million to the Attorney-General's Department to run the Commission, to provide legal assistance. There's just under $149 million to cover related costs for agencies within Mr. Fletcher's portfolio. This will be used to provide a range of informal supports in relation to the period of operation of the commission, such as individual advocacy supports, counselling support services.

I want to stress, this will be very hard for people to come and engage with this, just as it has been in previous Commissions of this nature. It's not about just getting people to the mic, it's about supporting them afterwards and before as well. This Budget builds that in.

JOURNALIST: What support are you offering, Prime Minister, to maybe young children, if they're in a school environment where this sort of activity has taken place?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, that's what this commission is for; to ensure we're covering the full scope of those who want to bring their cases forward. Let's not forget, this Royal Commission goes back, there is no limit, it goes back in time. So those who may have experienced this abuse or mistreatment when they were younger, they may be an adult today, but there is nothing restraining them from coming forward and telling the stories of when they're eight years old and what they faced. So, there are no limits on this. This is a no-limits inquiry because we need to understand it all.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, given we're due to go into an election campaign soon, how much consultation did you have with the Opposition on the terms of reference and the Commissioners being appointed to this inquiry?

PRIME MINISTER: Well they were fully consulted on the terms of reference, it's for the Government to make the appointments of the commissioners, that's what the government does. But as you can see, we had extensive consultation throughout the sectors on the various skills and expertise that needed to be brought into the role of those commissioners and I think we've covered those off. Whether its Indigenous experience, those with lived experience of disabilities and I'm very pleased with the support we've had as we've consulted on those matters. I pledged to the Leader of the Opposition that they would be consulted on terms of reference and they have been.

JOURNALIST: The Royal Commission is going to look at the NDIS, is that a wholesale look at the whole operation of the NDIS or just instances of abuse or violence against people who participate in the NDIS?

MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES: I think it's important to understand the breadth of this Royal Commission and the fact that it is looking backwards as well as looking at what's occurring today. It's important to understand that until very recently, disability was almost entirely a State and Territory responsibility. The systems to deliver support to people with disability were delivered by State and Territory governments and of course State and Territory governments have primary responsibility in areas like health, education and so on, and other contexts in which violence, abuse or neglect or exploitation may have occurred. So it will be ultimately for the Royal Commissioners to determine how they execute on the very broad scope that they've been given in the letters patent. Certainly the NDIS is within scope, but the point I'd make is, the NDIS is a relatively recent development in the broad sweep of disability. We do have rigorous mechanisms in place, particularly the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner and we invested in that, that right now has operations in New South Wales and South Australia. As other states come on, it will expand its operations from 1 July of this year to most other states. So, we already have very extensive mechanisms in place, formal mechanisms that monitor quality and safeguards to take investigative action and remedial action. Of course it is within scope, but at the same time there's an extensive historical territory that the Royal Commission will look at.

PRIME MINISTER: When the consultation was undertaken, what was very clear is that the people and families living with disability didn't just want it to be about one program. In fact, they were quite adamant that it should not stop there. Of course its within scope, but what they understand is what they lived experience has been over 30, 50 years, the last 10 years. That's what they wanted to be in this Royal Commission; they didn't want this response to miss the point that they were seeking to make when they were advocating for a commission of this nature. It wasn't about one government program. In fact, it wasn't necessarily about a government program at all. This Royal Commission looks at mistreatment, neglect, abuse, in every setting, in schools, in nursing homes - in any field that someone might find themselves involved in - in the workplace, in prison, in custody, in other settings, in hospitals, walking up and down the street. That's where people with disabilities live and that's what they wanted to be the focus. They didn't want it to be some ‘argy-bargy’ about this program or that program. They want it to be about what they've been living with.

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister, on the election, how would you characterise the philosophical difference between the Coalition and Labor?

PRIME MINISTER: Just before we come to political matters, are there any other questions on the disability Royal Commission?

JOURNALIST:  You talked about that Australia needs to better respect people with disabilities. Why doesn't Australia respect people with disabilities, why is that?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I said we need to create a culture of respect for people with disabilities. I said the same thing when I announced the Royal Commission into aged care, because when you hear the stories of neglect and abuse, most good-hearted people will shake their head and fail to understand how this could occur. At the same time, I think we need to be acknowledging that in so many other cases there is such extraordinary acts of kindness and care that are extended by Australians to people with disabilities. I think our acknowledgement of the need to do this, is a statement of strength from a compassionate people. That whatever we might be doing now, we always want to do better. So I'd like to put it more in that light.

But there is a fundamental question as to why this takes place. I think it certainly baffles those who are the victims of it. I mean could you imagine it? I can't, I don't live with a disability. I have some insight through my family experience, but I can't begin to fathom what Gary goes through every day. I don't want to pretend to that, that would insult him. So I think this is going to help us all better understand that this behavior takes place and better understand the culture that can lead to that. Because ultimately that's where it starts.

There are things you can do in programs and services and you can do all of that. But at the end of the day, I think one of the values of the Royal Commission, is that off it will go to define and capture what is at the heart of this problem which is not just for governments, but it's for you, it's for me, it's for every Australian to confront the truth of this. While the government will have to give a response, of course, and the state governments will have to give a response, each of us I think would have to give a response in the same good-hearted way we did when we responded to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. I mean that shook us all to our foundations and I think that has produced the right response from Australians. I hope this will do the same.

JOURNALIST: And leaving the politics aside, this should have happened probably sooner, shouldn't it, than now?

PRIME MINISTER: I want to be clear that the Disability Commissioner hadn't previously recommended that we do this. I've been Prime Minister since August of last year and in that time I've initiated two Royal Commissions. My first priority at that time was to deal with the Aged Care Royal Commission and move quickly to set that up and have it running. Then I moved to establish this Royal Commission, just as quickly and just as promptly. So I can speak for the actions that l and the Minister have taken during that period of time and I would just simply put it forward in good faith and let's just get on with it.

JOURNALIST:  PM, you say the issue should be above politics. Do you give any credit to the Greens Senator Jordan Steele-John for his advocacy for this Royal Commission?

PRIME MINISTER: Yes I do. I do and what I found helpful from Senator Steele-John is he actually had a terms of reference, he had a very good idea about what he thought this should include and it was quite extensive and that doesn't surprise me. So I do commend him for his advocacy on that, absolutely I do.

MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES: Can I just add to that, I do want to acknowledge the contribution of so many in the disability sector, the peak bodies who came to Canberra at very short notice. They've engaged with us very constructively right across the sector, the engagement and the assistance on this has been exemplary.

PRIME MINISTER: I want to stress because you make a good point. I acknowledge that Senator Steele-John's often strong passion could be misinterpreted by some to be about partisanship. I don't think it was. I just think it was out of a passionate and frustrated heart and that's how I took it.

JOURNALIST:  Prime Minister, why has Melissa Price not signed off on -

PRIME MINISTER: Are we still on the Royal Commission or do we want to move to other political issues? Because others were raising political issues, if we've covered the Royal Commission, then we can come back over to John, go ahead.

JOURNALIST: Thanks Prime Minister, just broadly on the election. How would you characterise the philosophical differences between the Coalition and Labor, that voters will ultimately have to choose between?

PRIME MINISTER: This is fundamentally a contest between a Liberal and National Party that believes the strength of Australia is built on the effort and the enterprise of every single Australian - the champion in every single Australian, the unique contribution that they can make - and for us to create an environment, through our policies, that enables them to succeed. That the more they do, the harder they work, the more they invest of themselves, then the better they will do. That they won't be held back. That they'll be able to succeed and see the fruits of what they're putting in. Because Australia is all about making a contribution, not taking a contribution, for each and every individual citizen. We see and understand the value of each and every individual Australia. Indeed, in announcing this Royal Commission today, that is acknowledging that it’s irrelevant what your level of ability or disability is, what your means are whether they be small or whether they be great; whoever you are in Australia, my plan is to encourage you.

Now Labor's plan is different. Labor's plan is driven by the politics of envy. Labor believes that for some to do better, others have to do worse. Labor's plan is about driving Australians apart, by splitting us up, by setting us against each other. The politics of envy versus the economics of opportunity, the economics of aspiration.

That's what I believe the choice is fundamentally about and that is what our plan has delivered today. That's what a strong economy is produced from; not higher taxes, but by hard working Australians running businesses, going to work every day, fulfilling their responsibilities to themselves and each other. That's how you make a strong Australia and when you do that, your economy is strong, which means you can invest in the essential services - health, education, the disability support, the aged care, the mental health of Australians as we said the other night with the biggest package to combat youth suicide and youth mental health in this country. That's what we announced the other night.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, why has Melissa Price delayed signing off on the Adani coalmine considering the environment department rubber-stamped the groundwater management plan on Monday?

PRIME MINISTER: Well I don't know what your information is, but there has been no delay. This is one of what has been a large number of approvals, this is actually a sub-approval to a previous approval. It’s part of the administrative process that relates to that project and all processes that are required in relation to that approval are being followed. I've always said that we will pursue our responsibilities in relation to this project fully and that we'll make sure that in providing any of the consents that are required under the Act, that they're done properly with the fullest information. I've noticed there's been a bit of excited reporting on this topic, but I can simply tell you, that it’s excited. We are just simply following the normal process and the decisions will be made in the normal course of business.

JOURNALIST: What concerns did Queensland MPs raise with you yesterday about Minister’s Price’s [inaudible]?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I’ve just answered the question, that’s where that issue is at. 

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister on the NDIS, last night Bill Shorten said he's going to lift the staffing cap on the NDIA and was quite scathing in your Government's administration of the scheme. Do you have any comments around what he said last night?

PRIME MINISTER: I'm very disappointed, very disappointed that the Labor Party and Bill Shorten have once again sought to misrepresent and politically weaponise the issue of disabilities. I'm deeply and totally disappointed. As I said in the House yesterday, this is a matter that should bring all Australians together. I'm disappointed that once again Bill Shorten is seeking to drive Australians apart and seek to play partisan politics on something as important as this. Now to be clear about the NDIS, the NDIS as Tanya Plibersek said only yesterday is fully funded. It is a demand driven program and that means that every single –every single- package that has gone through the process, is funded. Demand is high.

It is uncapped. It can't have it’s funding reduced, because it is an uncapped program. It has every single resource that it requires and the Labor Party knows that.

So why they would seek to misrepresent that - I even heard that Anthony Albanese said this morning that we were cutting things back to pay for a Royal Commission. That is shameful. That is really shameful and very disappointing. I hope over the course of the period between now and the election, that Labor might elevate, that they might get out of this dirty politicking on disabilities.

Let's just get back up where I think Australians want us to be comes to dealing with people with disabilities. Let's stay up here, where Australians are; focused on people with disabilities, ensuring they have the care and support they need provided. The NDIS is a very difficult program, we supported it when we were in Opposition and we're implementing it now we're in Government. It is an extremely complex program to put in place. There are frustrations with the program which Paul and I share and we are working to address and as we continue to do that, as we're working with the States and Territories, as we do that more programs will come forward, more packages approved. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is uncapped for it’s funding. As much funding as is needed, is there.

JOURNALIST: There are reports this morning that the Australian Government would consider issuing travel documents to welcome children of the IS fighter Khaled Sharouff if they can get out of Syria and find themselves an Australian embassy. Can you confirm if that is the case?

PRIME MINISTER: What I've said on this matter is that I'm not going to put any Australian life at risk to extract people from these conflict zones. The process here - and we are working with the Red Cross to this - is that where there are particularly children, mainly that’s where our focus is. I’d say exclusively that's where our focus is. Then we’re working with the Red Cross where they're in a position for people to get to a place where they might be in a position to return to Australia, then we will cooperate with that process.

There are the normal assessments that are done in the identification process. There are issues that relate to people's citizenship that has to be confirmed and you'd expect that. But where those issues arrived to be addressed, then of course we would follow the normal process before issuing travel documents after all those other matters have been addressed.

Of course I'm not going to put one on Australian life at risk for that. But of course we’ll also, particularly in the case of children who were the innocent victims of those who took them into this atrocious place, - they have responsibility here - but where there are Australians who are caught up in this situation particularly as innocent children, then we will do what I think Australians would expect us to do.

JOURNALIST: Getting back to the NDIS [inaudible] one of the criticism from the sector was the perceived by the previous government [inaudible] for political reasons. So they can’t attract the quality bureaucrats that are needed there to run the Department and it can’t affectively liaise with Treasury, Health and other Departments? Would you ever consider relocating it back to Canberra [inaudible]?

MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES: The NDIS is certainly attracting very high quality staff. In fact under the previous Minister Christian Porter, the board was extensively revamped so we've got a lot of high-quality experience in managing large scale rollouts. We're seeing the benefits of that and getting much better performance from the call centres, when people call up they’re not waiting nearly as long as they were before. And of course, there are people with lived experience of disability on the board.

The Geelong headquarters is working well and indeed one of the reasons Geelong was chosen is that Geelong is becoming a hub for social policy, social insurance type organisations and that assists in getting staff to come to Geelong because it's an area that has a growing depth of expertise. So that is a factor and in short, I'd say that it's working well, it's working effectively. It is certainly not something that concerns our government.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister Bill Shorten last night announced a couple of billion dollars to reduce out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients. Now, we know you have your Government has funnel a lot of money to research, cancer centres and the PBS. But specifically on the measures that he announced last night, do you oppose those or is that something that you would support?

PRIME MINISTER:  We say first of all that we stand with every Australian - I think everybody who serves in this Parliament - stands with every Australian that is fighting the insidious disease of cancer. Again this is one of those diseases that there wouldn't be one Australia who doesn't have some connection to someone who has suffered or they have lost, because of cancer.

I particularly want to commend the nurses and other clinicians and aides that are working in our public hospitals, where all of the treatments that were spoken of by the Leader of the Opposition last night, all of those treatments that he spoke of are available in public hospitals free of charge today.

So that's happening for people on low incomes and others, they can access those same free services in public hospitals, as we speak, because of the medical and health care and hospital system that we run in this country.

You’re right, we have put in $9 billion worth of affordable medicines, 130 separate cancer treating drugs, as a result of the strong economy that we’ve been raising. So that's a $9 billion investment in treating cancer that we bought on.

Equally a lot of the measures that he announced last night overlap with things that are also being done currently, whether it comes to a diagnostic imaging and the $606 million that we've announced for that - which is the same amount the Leader of the  Opposition announced last night. So there's a lot of crossover between those programs. Where there's any gap between those programs of course I'm happy to look at it. But that detail has as yet not been provided. I think on issues of treating cancer, there can be absolute unanimity of view across politics.

Secondly I would hope there would the same thing when it comes to dealing with the challenge of youth suicide and youth mental health. I thought we'd get some bipartisanship on that last night, I didn't hear it. I hope to hear it soon. I think it should be there. The Government has taken the initiative on that.

But you know at the end of the day, all of the commitments you make - whether it's on hospitals, where we've increased funding by over 60 percent in the last 5.5 years; or it's on public schools, where we’ve increased funding by over 60 percent over the last 5 years; whether it's on Medicare, where we’ve increased funding by 27 percent since we came to government and we now have the highest bulk-billing that Australia has ever seen on record and that includes the Medicare items for all of the things that were addressed last night - you can only do that if you have a strong economy.

So I don't think there's any difference necessarily between our shared commitment whether it's to providing healthcare, schools or fighting cancer.

The only difference is this; if you can't run an economy and if you can't run a Budget - which is what Labor demonstrated each and every time they've been in government and then it's taken us more than a decade to get back to where they started … they ruined our Budget, not listing medicines. They have made these promises on affordable medicines before. They have. They said they would do it and then when they were in government, they didn't list medicines because they ran out of money.

I was asked the question about what the difference is before. I think you see it in the Budget document we handed down this week; we run a strong economy. We know how to manage money. That's why we can be trusted to fund hospitals and schools and fighting cancer, dealing with mental health challenges. We can be trusted to do that, because of our record on the economy.

Labor, they always run out of their money – and when they do that, they always come after yours.

Thank you very much.

[ENDS]