A reds under the bonnet scare campaign - Transcript, ABC Melbourne

E&OE TRANSCRIPT 

RADIO INTERVIEW 

ABC MELBOURNE DRIVE 

WEDNESDAY, 10 APRIL 2019 

SUBJECTS:  Electric vehicles, Labor’s cancer plan, Adani. 

RAF EPSTEIN: Tim Wilson is the Liberal MP for the seat of Goldstein. He's also the head of the House Economics Committee. He's been running an Inquiry into Labor's changes to dividend imputation. Tim Wilson, thanks for coming in.  

TIM WILSON: Thanks, Raf. It’s wonderful to be here. It's even better to represent a community that is going to have its first Medicare licensed MRI. I see a copy of my letter in front of you. 

EPSTEIN: Yes, well one of your constituents has a bone to pick with you but we'll get to that, we'll get to that. Andrew Leigh also joins us in our Canberra studio. He's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He's the Labor MP for the seat of Fenner in Canberra. Andrew Leigh. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day Raf. Great to be back with you.  

EPSTEIN: I look, I just want to have a listen to the Prime Minister and Minister Michaelia Cash. They're not keen on Labor's electric vehicle policies.  

SCOTT MORRISON: Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend when it comes to his policy on electric vehicles. 

MICHAELIA CASH: We are going to stand by our tradies and we are going to save their utes. 

EPSTEIN: Tim Wilson, saving the weekend, saving utes. It’s a bit far, isn’t it? 

WILSON: Well I think what people are concerned about is the consequences of this policy which is - we all support electric car adoption, I do. There's a national electric, electric vehicle strategy, working with States to move with technology and what we don't want is punitive measures where people are forced to phase out existing cars or forced- 

EPSTEIN: So do you think saving the weekend is not an overreach? 

WILSON: Sorry? 

EPSTEIN: Saving the weekend. The Prime Minister’s- 

WILSON: I think you want to save the weekend, I want to save the weekend. We all want to party on the weekend. 

EPSTEIN: No, he says he's going to save the weekend. Is that not overreach? 

WILSON: I think it's fantastic that he's going to save the weekend because I would hate to see it under threat. I think Australians love their weekends, as occasionally, as I do when I get the opportunity to actually take them off.  

EPSTEIN: You’re not allowed to. 

WILSON: [laughter] Particularly not with an election.  

EPSTEIN: Andrew Leigh, punitive electric vehicle policy? 

LEIGH: Raf, a generation ago the scare campaign was reds under the beds. Now it seems to be reds under the bonnets. One moment these guys are happy tweeting their photos of them driving around in Teslas, next moment they're saying on either there'll never be an improvement on the Model T Ford. There's no scare campaign that Scott Morrison won’t stoop to. This is, this is a bloke who will say anything and do anything. The fact is, you look at the benefits of adopting electric vehicles, Raf - the report from NRMA and the electric vehicle council- 

EPSTEIN: The NRMA want to stop selling petrol cars. In five years time. 

LEIGH: Labor is not talking about stopping petrol cars. We're talking about encouraging uptake and the NRMA says that means 13,000 jobs, $3 billion benefit to the economy. Drive an electric vehicle for 100 kilometres and you save $7. 

EPSTEIN: I want to try and drill down to what Labor's proposing. Tim Wilson, why is it punitive? You've got roughly the same goal for the number of electric vehicles. 

WILSON: Yeah, we want adoption of electric cars as well.  

EPSTEIN: Can you just explain simply as you can why theirs is punitive and yours is not? 

WILSON: I'm not saying it's punitive. I'm saying - 

EPSTEIN: You said it was punitive before. 

WILSON: I’m saying if they want to back it up with punitive measures, to try and take existing cars off the road- 

EPSTEIN: You just said if. 

WILSON: Well exactly. If they choose to do so, otherwise it's not a, it's just a [inaudible] target they've set. Now what we've said, under our national electric vehicle strategy, is actually to work with the States, to work with technology to achieve transition. I think that's fantastic.  

EPSTEIN: Do I need to ask the question again? Which part of Labor's policy is punitive and is going to take away the weekend? 

WILSON: If they actually want it to have teeth and they want to force a situation, a change in behaviour- 

EPSTEIN: But you’ve got the same target? 

WILSON: Well, we've got the same target and that's why we're working with the States through a national electricity, electric vehicle strategy and with technology- 

EPSTEIN: Should I ask that question again. Which part of Labor's policy is different to yours and thus punitive? 

WILSON: Well, ours is focused on working with the States, as I've outlined as well as with technological change. Now if they want to force change as part of their proposal and actually make sure that they affect it- 

EPSTEIN: Please tell me that after, please tell me that after a week of being told I won't have a ute you can tell me which part of Labor's policy is punitive? 

WILSON: I'm not saying people can't have a ute at all. In fact, what we're saying is we're going to move- 

EPSTEIN:  Your Party’s got ads on Facebook saying you won't be able to buy this car. Which part of Labor's policy is punitive? 

WILSON: Well, if they’re going to enforce their target, in meaning that if technology doesn't move with it they are ultimately going to have to enforce it. I guess they just- 

EPSTEIN: Please tell me that someone from the Liberal Party can point me towards the problem with Labor’s policy. 

WILSON: Well, it’s, it’s, it’s - this is the question, of course, for Andrew Leigh, if he actually wants to meet the target and he wants to force it against technological change. Ours is focused on working with technology, then we'll make sure that we achieve it. 

EPSTEIN: I'm a little surprised that you can't tell me that there's a problematic aspect to Labor's policy. But Andrew Leigh, are you going to force people? Which part of your policy is punitive? I'll ask you the same question. 

LEIGH: No part at all, Raf and you heard Tim going ‘if, if, if’. If my aunt had a beard she'd be my uncle. But the fact is that our policy is encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles. We’re encouraging government fleets to transfer to electric-  

EPSTEIN: Maybe I’ll help Tim Wilson out…  

LEIGH: It’ll save the taxpayer money. 

EPSTEIN: …I don’t know if just slipped his mind. You're going to have higher fuel standards on cars. 

LEIGH: Not at all, I mean Australia doesn't have emission standards unlike most other countries. We need to put in place those emission standards that will save taxpayers money. The fact is that electric vehicles aren't just cheaper in terms of running costs, they’re cheaper in terms of maintenance costs as well. 

WILSON: The upfront cost? 

EPSTEIN: Just one moment Tim Wilson. How do you save people money, Andrew Leigh? 

LEIGH: You save by moving to electric vehicles. Josh Frydenberg himself was saying last year that shift to EVs would save around $500 a year. NRMA puts that at the lower end of the estimate. We're keen also to include through our Australian Investment Guarantee an incentive to invest in electric vehicles- 

EPSTEIN: That’s a tax discount for research, isn’t it? 

LEIGH: No, it’s a tax discount on new investment Raf -  

EPSTEIN: Sorry. 

LEIGH: New investment above $20,000. Businesses will be able to immediately deduct 20 per cent for an electric vehicle. 

EPSTEIN: Are both sides allowing that? That might be a bit too fine detail, but are there tax incentives for people to do research on manufacturing electric vehicles do you know? 

WILSON: Well, there are already research and development grants in place. 

EPSTEIN: R and D concessions. 

WILSON: R and D concessions, because we want to encourage new technologies and new investment, new industries to build this nation's future.  

EPSTEIN: Have you driven one? 

WILSON: An electric vehicle? I have, once. 

EPSTEIN: Yes, me too, once. Andrew Leigh, have you driven one? 

LEIGH: I've been in a Tesla, which is fantastic- 

EPSTEIN: You said a brand name!  

[laughter] 

EPSTEIN: Let me go to Joseph, who’s in Caulfield. He's in Tim Wilson’s seat, I think, Ah yes, there are parts of Caulfield in Goldstein. I forget which bits. Joseph, go for it - what’s your query? 

CALLER: Hi Tim, it’s Joseph. 

WILSON: Hi Joseph. How are you buddy? Is this the Joseph I saw on Monday night? 

CALLER: Yeah. 

WILSON: Yeah, how are you? Have you got your Labor Party sign up the front of your house yet? 

CALLER: It’s coming up, it’s coming up next week.  

EPSTEIN: What's your question, Joseph? 

CALLER: I think, because of the ABC News I've been able to easily find that Labor only really wants 50 per cent of all new cars to be electric vehicles by 2030 and currently I don't really understand ScoMo’s issue with saying that it's going to be ruining weekends by asking that 50 per cent of all new car sales be electric. That's not forcing any present cars which aren’t electric to be off the roads and it's still allowing many people to buy petrol run cars. 

EPSTEIN: Quick response, Tim Wilson. 

WILSON: Well, what we're saying and I've said this a few times now is that we're going to move with the technology and work with the States to deliver uptake because I want to see more electric vehicles in the market, but I don't want people to either be forced to retire their existing cars - that's not environmentally efficient - and I also don't want outdated technology to be adopted which carries huge waste costs as well. 

EPSTEIN: So my weekends [inaudible] 

LEIGH: If you want to save the weekend, you'd restore penalty rates. And if you want to look after tradies you’d put in place a Tradie Pay Guarantee. These are Labor policies, they’re not Coalition policies, just as the Australian Investment Guarantee that we spoke about before is not a Coalition policy. 

EPSTEIN: I will give Tim Wilson a brick bat for not coming up with the punitive part of your policy. I couldn't possibly give him a brick bat for not knowing that particular part of the investment guarantee - I think Tim's entirely legitimate to not be across that level of detail. That's just me throwing out awards. Michael’s in Preston, Michael what did you want to ask? 

CALLER: [inaudible] I think people are pretty cynical about this [inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: Michael, I might come back you - really horrible phone line. We'll get some traffic with John. 

[TRAFFIC REPORT] 

EPSTEIN: Tim Wilson who's with us is the Liberal MP for the seat of Goldstein. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He's an ALP MP in Canberra. We’ll just try Michael again - go for it, Michael. What did you want to say? 

CALLER: Sorry about that. So what I was saying was I think a lot of people are pretty cynical about politics and I'm certainly one of them. And but I guess the way I make my choice to vote. It's complicated, but at least they [inaudible] data. At the last federal election I voted Liberal. I have to say honestly that this, this little conversation line about Labor supposedly wanting to end the weekend, it's just about enough to make me make my mind up and vote Labor. That is - it is honestly, it just makes me want to cry. That this is a level of debate we have in this country. There are serious issues at stake and this is where we’re at. 

EPSTEIN:  Do you have a question for Tim Wilson? 

CALLER: Well, I think Tim Wilson, I would just say to him you guys are losing votes hard and you've lost mine. It's a joke and you should be ashamed of yourself. 

EPSTEIN: Okay. Tim Wilson, anything else you want to add to that? 

WILSON: Well, I think you’ve got to have a serious conversation about what transitioning the auto stock of the country is and we want to do it and, I keep coming back to it, in a way that moves with technology, in a way that moves with the States and makes sure that we can deliver outcomes but doesn't lead to people being forced to either remove their existing cars or to take cars that are currently available that the people drive because- 

EPSTEIN: Are Labor taking away cars? 

WILSON: No, no. But I think that’s, this is where it comes down to a point about making sure you don't force regulations. We've got it. We're working with the States to achieve this and that's the critical point. And so this is where I think it’s - if you want to be part of the constructive conversation you want to focus on those measures.  

LEIGH: And that’s exactly what we're doing. 

[inaudible] 

LEIGH: We’re working with the Electric Vehicle Council. We’ve announced these measures. We’ve also announced $100 million to put in place systems of charging stations. If you want to drive from Brisbane up to Cairns, you've got regular charging stations. But if you want to drive from Sydney to Melbourne, then you've got big gaps between the charging stations. So there's a federal role in putting that infrastructure in place as well. The thing is the Scott Morrison scare campaign has simply jumped the shark. This  sort of notion that shifting to electric vehicles is ludicrous. It’s like they want us all to stop using Netflix and dust off the old Blockbuster membership card- 

WILSON: [inaudible] bollocks. That's as silly as some of the allegations that you'd make against others. The reality is we've actually had a strategy before the Labor Party put out its strategy to deal with this, to work with the States and deal with the transition with technology and that's what we're seeking to achieve.  

EPSTEIN: Final 5 second response and then we'll move on. 

LEIGH: There’s no COAG vehicle agenda to improve coordination of electric vehicle take up. That's one of the things we'll deliver, along with the Australian Investment Guarantee. They won't deliver that. Along with the target for new government vehicles, the Coalition won't deliver that. They're stuck in the past. 

EPSTEIN: It’s 29 minutes past 5 o’clock. I might shift the conversation to health. Tim Wilson, I wanted to ask you about this because one of your constituents brought this one up with me. You've got a letter - I’m sure you know about it- 

WILSON: I do.  

EPSTEIN: It’s going out to Bayside residents, just let me read - a new Medicare eligible MRI in Bayside. Now lifesaving MRI scans can be bulk billed. Local residents with cancers can get scans locally.  

WILSON: That last sentence is an abridged version, if I recall correctly.  

EPSTEIN: I’m just trying to get it done, I've nothing wrong with the gist of it, assumed. A lot of emphasis on bulk billing - except you can't get bulk billing. That’s- 

[inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: Well, I rang the hospital. You can't get bulk billing- 

WILSON: And I've spoken to them and that's false. You can get bulk billing if you're under the age of 16 or having cancer treatment. For anybody else, you get a discount if you're a pensioner or you have a healthcare card- 

[inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: Most people aren't going to get bulk billed, are they? 

WILSON: Well, no. It depends on who goes there and- 

[inaudible] 

WILSON: Please let me finish. You have bulk billing for people under the age of 16 and those people have cancer treatments. You have $100 access for pensioners and those on healthcare cards and $220 for everybody else and Cabrini Brighton is currently doing great calculations to assess where they're able to extend bulk billing for everybody. They're about to make advice on that available shortly. 

EPSTEIN: None of those, none of those details are in your letter. It looks like you can go to Cabrini in Brighton and get bulk billed MRI scans. 

WILSON: You can. If you're under age 16 and you have, and if you have cancer treatments, you can. 

EPSTEIN: Again, most people taking advantage of this letter can't get a bulk billed MRI and in fact when I rang imaging at Cabrini in Brighton, they said I couldn’t. 

WILSON: Look, I don't know - you personally or do you mean others? 

EPSTEIN: We rang multiple times and listeners have called and we spoke to Cabrini- 

WILSON: And did you go to their own website? It actually says that you can and this is the point as I've outlined. If you're under the age of 16, if you have cancer treatments, you can get bulk billing. If you have a healthcare card or a pensioner, you get it for $110 and for everybody else it’s $220 and Cabrini Brighton is currently doing an assessment about whether they can extend bulk billing for everybody. 

LEIGH: Raf, this goes directly to the cancer plan that Bill Shorten announced- 

WILSON: It’s already provided for! 

EPSTEIN: Go on, Andrew. 

[inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: Just if I can ask you perhaps, just because not everyone is across all the detail Tim might have mentioned. If you can frame your answer in terms of what's already covered and what you say Labor is adding, that might help everyone who's listening. 

LEIGH: So, under our policy, if you need a cancer scan every MRI machine in every postcode will be eligible for Medicare. We recognise that there are massive out-of-pocket costs right now. Half of us are going to get a cancer diagnosis before age 85. Of those who are diagnosed, the typical out-of-pocket cost is $5000. I spoke to a woman by the name of Sarah in Canberra Hospital where Bill Shorten and Catherine King and I visited and she talked about having to go through some 70 scans during her fight with cancer over the last two decades. She spoke about friends and family chipping in sometimes to pay for those scans. Cancer makes you sick, but it shouldn't make you poor. But right now, because of the way our Medicare system is set up, there are big gaps for cancer scans- 

EPSTEIN: Yeah, but I just wonder - which, like if you're an individual, which gap are you filling in? Because there's clearly some things you get for your cancer treatment that are covered by bulk billing, some maybe not nearly enough under Labor's terms. So what extra things are now going to be covered specifically by Labor's bulk billing of cancer treatment? 

LEIGH: It’ll be those scans - whether MRI are often common but there's also X-rays, mammograms, PET scans. Under Labor, the estimates are that there'll be an additional 2000 appointments every day that are going to be covered without out-of-pocket costs. 

WILSON: So this is the point and this goes right to the heart of the letter. We're providing scans bulk billed at Cabrini Brighton, as well as many other hospitals, Holmesglen in Moorabbin as well. It’s got a new Medicare licensing MRI and it will cover cancer. So there is nothing new or additional in this plan from Labor, but we're very proud to be able to deliver this to the community.  

LEIGH: Tim, you know that’s ludicrous, right? 

[inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: No one can understand anything what's been said if you talk over each other, so why don't I try this. I will try to ask the same question. Tim Wilson, your letter says bulk billing for scans at the hospital in your electorate - which just happens to be a private hospital - will most of the people who ring tomorrow and ask for an MRI scan be bulk billed? 

WILSON: Well you know, you and I both know that I have no idea who's going to call tomorrow. But what will happen is if you are a cancer patient- 

EPSTEIN: One in 10? Nine in 10? 

WILSON: Well, that's what the Cabrini Brighton is currently doing an assessment of, to see whether they can offer bulk billing to everybody. But if you're a cancer patient or you're under 16- 

EPSTEIN: Your letter says ‘now’. Life saving, bulk billing ‘now’. 

WILSON: And it is. If you're a cancer patient or you’re under the age of 16- 

EPSTEIN: Okay, I’ll ask a really simple question one more time. Will most people who ring the hospital in your electorate be bulk billed? 

WILSON: And you, and you don't know how many people are going to call tomorrow either. The reality is if you're under the age of 16, if you are a cancer patient you will be bulk billed. If you have a healthcare card, if you're a pensioner. you will get it for $100. If you are someone else, you will get up to, you'll get it for $220 and Cabrini Brighton right now is looking at where they can extend bulk billing for everyone and we'll give advice shortly. 

EPSTEIN: So Andrew Leigh, the same question applies to you. I don't know if you know the details for the hospitals in your electorate, but are most of the people - let’s say Labor wins and I’m in Andrew Leigh’s electorate in Canberra.  Are most of the people who then apply for an MRI scan in your electorate, will most of them get it bulk billed? 

LEIGH: Yes. So the way in which we work is we’ll say to MRI providers if you meet minimum quality and safety standards, you'll be able to bill Medicare for cancer services, provided you bulk bill. Meaning that you've got scans currently costing hundreds of dollars that would be free. I'm not sure how Tim can simultaneously argue that this makes no difference and that it's going to cost the budget money. The fact is this is a $2 billion plan. This is the biggest change to Medicare since Labor put it in place and for Tim to be suggesting there's no problem with out-of-pocket costs for people going to MRIs- 

WILSON: Andrew, [inaudible] 

[inaudible] 

LEIGH: If you acknowledge there is a problem, Tim, you must acknowledge that Labor's policy will make a difference. 

WILSON: I have said it clearly- 

[inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: One at a time. Andrew Leigh, do you want to finish that off? 

LEIGH: Tim, if you are suggesting that Labor's plan does nothing you are effectively saying that there's no problem with out-of-pocket costs. 

WILSON: I am saying and I have said- 

LEIGH: There is a big challenge with out-of-pocket costs- 

EPSTEIN: Let each other finish. I’m happy to let you both go, but you have to let each other finish. 

LEIGH: - that’s been outlined by the College of Radiologists. They say “patients are facing high out-of-pocket costs, significant delays or forgoing MRI imaging altogether at the expense of their health”. So Labor's plan is going to make it possible for more than  2000 additional bulk-billed scans on a daily basis. There's going to be 500 MRI providers across Australia who'll be able to take advantage of this. And at a time when we’re closing tax loopholes, people need to know the benefits of closing those tax loopholes and they come through things such as our historic Cancer Plan and its impact on out-of-pocket costs for Australians. 

EPSTEIN: Just a ten second response, Tim, then I want to get to coal. 

WILSON: It's quite simple - because of the strong economic management of the Government, we have just provided more and more MRI licences all around the country so people won't have out-of-pocket expenses if they need cancer scans through MRIs. We're delivering and Labor is following. 

EPSTEIN: Let me have a chat to Amanda in Fairfield. There’s plenty people wanting to talk about electric vehicles. Amanda is one of them. What do you want to say Amanda? 

CALLER: Hi, Raf. I'm on a ride share driver and I would love an electric car because I spend a lot more money on petrol than I do most other things every week, as I would imagine a lot of tradies do because like me they're driving round here, there and everywhere for their work. So I've just got a little car which is fairly fuel efficient, but it still uses a lot of petrol. The fact - if you’re driving a massive ute, I reckon tradies would be pretty happy. And I'm old enough to remember when you know mobile phones first came into being and they were those huge bricks and they cost a fortune and hardly anyone had one. 

EPSTEIN: Which side of politics - they’ve both got the same target they say for the number of vehicles they would like to be electric new ones in a decade's time. Which side's gonna get us there best? 

CALLER: Well, I’m more a Labor voter anyway so I guess I’m a bit biased, but I do actually think the Labor policy is better. And I mean, I think the cheapest electric car you can get at the moment is around about $50,000- 

EPSTEIN: And they are looking at lowering the prices. I want to finish with both of you as I expect in both your electorates it's an issue - I don't actually know, Tim Wilson, in your seat. The Federal Government's given a significant tick to the Adani coal mine, which would open up mining in the Galilee Basin in Queensland. Is that a plus for you in your seat? 

WILSON: Well, what the Government's done is gone through the environmental assessments informed by Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO to say that certain parts of the water components of the project meet environmental standards- 

EPSTEIN: A big tick? 

WILSON: No, no - it’s about making sure that it meets environmental standards. And I would've thought that most Australians no matter who they were would want to see the science being followed on water management on advice from Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO. 

EPSTEIN: Hand on heart, Tim Wilson. When you knock on people's doors, is Adani an issue in your seat? 

WILSON: It comes up from time to time. But ultimately this is a decision for the Queensland State Government. that's what I explained to them- 

EPSTEIN: The Queensland Labor Government. 

WILSON: Well, you said Labor, I was just going to say State Government. And our job is to make sure that the environmental approvals go through rigor and are properly assessed. And that's what we've been doing. 

EPSTEIN: Andrew Leigh, are you a fan of the mine? 

LEIGH: It doesn't really matter whether I'm a fan of it or not, Raf. The fact is that it needs to stack up environmentally and economically. Right now you've got an extraordinary process going on. You've had Matt Canavan threatening to quit the cabinet, James McGrath bullying and threatening the Minister, Josh Frydenberg refusing to publicly support it and I expect as a result of all of that that the decision Melissa Price has made is going to be challenged in the courts. The Environment Minister has the say so on this and the process the Government is following is is extraordinary. One of these- 

WILSON: What’s extraordinary about the process? 

LEIGH: You've got a member of your party room who has said- 

[inaudible] 

LEIGH: - if the Minister doesn’t make the decision that he wants her to make that he will publicly go out and call for her resignation. That kind of- 

EPSTEIN: How do you know that, Andrew Leigh? 

LEIGH: Well, that’s public. James McGrath’s letter is public knowledge. The fact is that the Government has for years now been suggesting we ought to put taxpayer dollars into the Adani mine. We’ve consistently- 

EPSTEIN: You’ve made reference- 

[inaudible] 

EPSTEIN: Just let Andrew Leigh, if I can - just so it doesn't run away from us. Support and James McGrath’s threats, Tim Wilson? 

WILSON: Well, the point is he hasn't actually highlighted anything wrong with the process. He's drawn out a whole bunch of colour and light around the discussion. There are people who have very strong views on this policy and we know that. But the process has been followed, it's been informed by Geoscience Australia and CSIRO. Which part of that process is wrong and he can't answer it.  

EPSTEIN: You’re divided over this though in Queensland, aren’t you? The party, I mean. 

WILSON: I - oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.  

EPSTEIN: Your party’s divided over this. 

WILSON: There are obviously people who are in the community who will be directly affected, benefit from it and those people are very focused on jobs and job creation for their communities. There are, those communities can also be concerned about other factors - the environment being critical, one of them - as our other allied communities. And so this is where having an evidence based approach informed by science is so critical. And that's what the Government has done despite the hysteria from Dr Leigh. 

EPSTEIN: Just let me bring in Angela in Brighton, if I can Andrew Leigh, because I think she might have just had a Medicare involvement with an MRI scans it’d be nice to get some real world information. Angela, what was your experience? 

CALLER: I just had a scan today at Holmesglen. It was booked for Cabrini but I went to Holmesglen instead because of the parking and it was bulk billed. I’m a cancer patient. 

EPSTEIN: What sort of scan was it? 

CALLER: Not an MRI, a CT scan. 

EPSTEIN: A CT scan and it was bulk billed. Okay. Good to know. And do you live in Tim Wilson’s seat do you know? Goldstein? 

CALLER: I’m in Brighton, so- 

EPSTEIN: Yes, I think you probably do. So Andrew Leigh, I don't know - are CT scans different to MRI scans? They sound, I think they're cheaper, I'm not sure. Do you know? 

LEIGH: I think the answer is yes to both of those questions. We're certainly not arguing that nobody is being bulk billed at the moment for cancer scans, but that there is significant out-of-pocket cost challenge. So the estimate as I mentioned before - $5000 a typical cancer patient. We believe that's too much at a time when people are facing a disease which is just so stressful, as I'm sure Angela will have experienced herself- 

WILSON: And that's the point. Angela's experience is exactly what we have delivered and have been able to deliver and I was at the announcement of the CT scan to the MRI license at Holmesglen. We’ve been able to deliver in two local hospitals and it's a great achievement a consequence of strong economic management by this government. 

EPSTEIN: Gentlemen I'm going to need to leave it there. I appreciate your willing involvement in the conversation. 

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.


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