Transforming Health

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (17:08:47): I rise on behalf of The Greens to support the motion moved by the Hon. Stephen Wade of the Liberal opposition for a select committee to inquire into Transforming Health. I also note that the Greens will be supporting the government amendment to insert a reference to include ‘and federal government funding cuts to the South Australian health system’ but indicate that I move from the floor to amend the motion to include the words ‘and state’ after the word ‘federal’. So it would read:

and federal and state government funding cuts to the South Australian health system.

We have been told that Transforming Health is not about funding cuts, so it will be very interesting, as somebody who is prepared to be a member of this committee, to hear what impacts federal or state (should we accept that part of the reference) cuts have and what relation that has to Transforming Health.

I thank the Hon. Tung Ngo for his speech, because it also reminded me of the words of this government, under the Weatherill era, which said that the days of declare and defend were over, yet we have seen this process—which I think is one of the most important processes in our state—of Transforming Health done in an untimely way. There was not enough information given to many stakeholders to enable them to have meaningful input. Those voices, from the community and from the stakeholders, will be heard through this process. If what they have to say does not show that there are real concerns that need to be addressed by the government then it will have been a worthwhile process to simply give assurance in the community and within the sector that the government’s plan is going the right way the first time.

Indeed, that is the basic premise of Transforming Health, that we get it right, first time every time. I believe that is a laudable intent. Of course, no-one gets it right first time every time, and it would be a folly to think that any government plan will get it right first time and every time, so the government should certainly not be afraid of this committee. In fact, it should welcome it, and I look forward to the government being very active on this committee.

I note that we have been told that if we stood in solidarity with the health workers earlier this year we should be ensuring that federal government cuts are addressed. I say yes, absolutely. I stood in solidarity not only this year but also in 2010, when the health workers were protesting against the savage state government cuts, particularly on their wages and conditions. So the Greens stand in solidarity now, we stood in solidarity on the steps earlier this year, we stood in solidarity in 2010, and we continue to transform democracy. With that, I commend the motion to the house.

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