Topics: Flinders; My Health Record
Former Liberal but now independent member of the federal parliament Julia Banks has confirmed that she will run in Flinders against the Health Minister and Member for Flinders Greg Hunt.
So that means that Oliver Yates from the Clean Energy Fund is running against Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong; Zali Steggall and Alice Thompson who used to work for Malcolm Turnbull are both running against Tony Abbott along with others in New South Wales in Sydney; and now Julia Banks against Greg Hunt.
What is going on?
Mr Hunt joins me, he’s the Health Minister he’s making announcements in Sydney today.
Mr Hunt, good morning to you.
Good morning Jon.
What’s going on? There’s a pattern emerging here can you put the pieces of the puzzle together?
Look my focus is on the Mornington Peninsula I’m passionate about my electorate.
It’s where I grew up and where I went to school; where our children were born; where my wife worked; my father worked; and one of the great family tasks has been as custodians of the green wedge to protect the Peninsula.
What others are doing I’ll let them explain their own patterns and if somebody’s leaving a seat that’s a matter for them and leaving their community.
For me I’m just deeply passionate about my community and indeed I’ve just walked for three weeks and 500 kilometres around my electorate I think visiting 50 schools and 50 communities to raise funds for the Abacus and Light up Autism program in the local community.
Sure but one dissident running against an established Liberal in a safe seat is interesting; two dissidents running against two people in safe seats is even more interesting but there’s a pattern emerging here.
There are rumours about the strategy behind this and that they’re all related.
Can you confirm do you know is GetUp! funding these candidates?
You’ll have to ask GetUp! that or anybody else, I’m not the person that they would be telling.
Now for me it’s always been an immense privilege and a daily responsibility to represent the community I grew up in and I’d never leave my community.
I’m just completely passionate about and whether it’s Gunnamatta Beach or protecting Point Nepean or upgrading Rosebud Hospital working on the Somerville Secondary College or establishing Balcombe Grammar.
These are the things that- this is why you remain in the community and why you seek to represent them and to take them forwards.
Sure but if it’s not GetUp! Sure this is not- Sure understood.
There’s another common element here, the people being targeted apart from their positions on major policy issues whether it’s climate change or not – they’re also people Malcolm Turnbull would be interested in seeing, is it the word punished, for their stance in relation to him being removed?
So is Malcolm Turnbull the common thread behind these challenges against sitting Liberals in senior positions?
Look I don’t know and we’ll leave that for other people who would be more on the side of those who might be making those decisions to explain their own position.
For me, as you would expect having grown up in an area and having represented it and having been to school and having raised our children and having – you know the children were born at the magnificent Bays Hospital in Mornington and my wife worked there and I went through Mornington Primary at my early years and then working on these local projects is what actually motivates me.
But when the sentiment- Greg Hunt we’ve spoken many, many times, when the sentiment is a national swing. Local credentials amount to really not much at all.
So what we’re seeing here is the revolt of what I call the SPECS – the socially progressive but economically conservative liberals who deserted your party at the state election in their hundreds of thousands, that’s what we’re seeing here again now on the federal stage is it not?
Well in terms of what individuals’ reasons are and as I say having deep connections and history and passion for your own community, I think, is one of the most important things you could ever have in parliament.
That’s for others to explain, for me and my social views and economic views have always been very clear. My position has been a deep belief in climate change.
My electorate voted 70 per cent yes for same sex marriage. I didn’t just vote yes, I was one of the advocates both for the plebiscite and for a yes vote.
However, there are some things such as protecting the budget because it allows us to fund all of the things such as new medicines such as Orkambi for cystic fibrosis, Spinraza for spinal muscular atrophy, they’re things that I also believe in (inaudible).
JON FAINE: Alright well you’re sounding as if you’re trying to campaign through the ABC which of course is not something that we indulge people over. To turn to your portfolio.
Well I was responding to your question.
Oh yeah, but in a way that was becoming campaigning.
To turn to your portfolio: today’s the last day for people to opt out on the health records, how many people so far have done so?
That’s respectfully not correct, you can opt in or opt out at any time in your life and so the My Health Record is simply giving people access to their own health records, we can all access if we chose our banking details online but historically people haven’t been able to access something even more important than that – their own health records.
It’s thought round about one and a half million people have opted out, does that surprise you?
From the outset we predicted that there would be about a 90 per cent participation rate.
My latest advice, I don’t have final figures because they haven’t been formed yet is that having spoken to the Digital Health Agency yesterday we are on track to have a 90 per cent participation rate.
Now I have to say I am quietly very pleased if that is the case that such a high figure as 90 per cent, I was speaking representatives from international health bodies yesterday and they said if a country has a 90 per cent participation rate that would be extraordinary internationally.
Okay well let’s wait and see exactly whether or not that is what transpires.
Thank you and I’m sure we’ll speak again before the federal poll now in May.
Greg Hunt the Member for Flinders and federal Minister for Health.