Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health

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Interview with Sam Maiden - Sky News

Thursday, 14 December 2017

E&OE…
                      
Topics: Kristina Keneally; Surf Life Saving Australia’s 2017 National Coastal Safety Report

SAMANTHA MAIDEN:     

Greg Hunt, you have attacked Kristina Keneally over the claims that she has made in relation to Medicare. She said that she had to wait an hour, you said that the documentation of Centrelink suggests that no one waited for more than an hour that day. Walk us through what you said in relation to that matter?

GREG HUNT:          
Thanks very much, Sam. Look, it’s very clear that Kristina Keneally made false claims about Medicare waits. They’re fabricated. 

She claims she had to wait for an hour and the answer’s very simple, in the week that she apparently attended, we know these things, that not one person on any single day waited an hour. 

The average waiting times over the course of that week were 16 minutes, 13 minutes, 12 minutes, 12 minutes and 12 minutes for an average of just under 13 for the week.

I think what you can see here is that this is somebody who isn’t willing to tell the truth, who doesn’t feel any of the bounds that ordinary Australians do, that, in a conversation, you stick to the facts and you stick to the truth. 

And I did see the last interview, apart from the fact that that it was a genuine train wreck, one thing stuck out and that was, she attacked a cancer sufferer. 

She attacked Arthur Sinodinos at the time that he is going through cancer treatment. That was a disgusting action. 

She should come back on air, she should apologise today, she should withdraw her comments. Her comments were not only disgraceful, they were false. 

And to attack somebody who is going through cancer treatment is the lowest of the low acts.

Let me say this, this person was not fit to be premier, appointed by Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi, appointed Ian MacDonald, oversaw Sam Dastyari being appointed as general secretary of the ALP and now, she’s learnt nothing. 

And today’s comments though, I think, are the worst of all, attacking somebody at the very time they are going through treatment for cancer. Apologise, come back on air and withdraw.

SAMANTHA MAIDEN:     
We’ve only got a short amount of time today. I know that you are launching a surf life saving event in relation to water safety. 

We have seen so many devastating drownings in recent weeks, it is just so absolutely tragic. Do you have any advice for parents or just in relation to the community? These horrific events, we’ve seen an 11 year old child die recently on the Central Coast and also, of course, in Glenelg recently in Adelaide.

GREG HUNT:          
Yes, absolutely. I’m at the Seaford Life Saving Club on Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, we’ve just launched the National Coastal Safety Report. 

Drownings around the coast are down by 12 over the last year, but that’s still 116 people and the two cases that you outlined, those are two people whose families will be absolutely devastated. 

Two lives lost. And the message for parents and the message for everybody is, please watch you children, keep them between the flags and if you are out on the water, whether it’s on a kayak, if you’re on a boat or a jet ski, if you’re rock fishing, wear a life preserver, wear a life jacket. 

Those life jackets can save lives. And if you’re watching your kids and if you’re getting them to swim between the flags, we can reduce these numbers.

The only acceptable outcome is zero deaths because any single person is somebody’s brother or sister, son or daughter, husband or wife, or parent. We love our water, but we’ve got to do better.

SAMANTHA MAIDEN:     
Absolutely. Greg Hunt, thank you very much for your time today and your patience. We appreciate it.

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