Shrine of Remembrance, health funding, housing – Doorstop Interview – Melbourne

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Early Release of the June Quarter 2003 National Accounts
August 15, 2003
Defence, Wilson Tuckey, COAG – Parliament House, Canberra
August 20, 2003
Early Release of the June Quarter 2003 National Accounts
August 15, 2003
Defence, Wilson Tuckey, COAG – Parliament House, Canberra
August 20, 2003

Shrine of Remembrance, health funding, housing – Doorstop Interview – Melbourne




Visitor Centre

The Shrine of Remembrance


Sunday, 17 August 2003

12.30 pm

SUBJECTS: Shrine of Remembrance, health funding, housing


Treasurer, your own memories of watching this on television but also of your

own father and grandfather?


Well the Shrine has been central to the people of Melbourne and Victoria and

I have seen members of my own family, march down Swanston Street to the Shrine.

Its one of my earliest memories, but it commands the skyline as you look down

Swanston Street. Its ingrained into the consciousness I think of every young

of Victorian and up until now you have never been able to get inside it, but

now you can. And you can see something of the story of Anzac and the Second

World War and Vietnam and Borneo and all of the conflicts that Australians have

served in, its a very moving thing.


Is this something that we can link into community service as an example for

our younger people to look to the previous generation?


Oh, absolutely, this is something I think which will be an inspiration, and

young people who want to know the story of Anzac and who would go to Anzac Cove,

want to be part of the sense of sacrifice and commitment that they have seen

in previous generations. They want to do it again today and here at the Shrine

they can come down and they can see the story and they can know the exploits

of those that have gone before them and I hope it will inspire them to make

similar commitments and this I think will be a very major commemoration, a very

major place for young Australians in the future.


Can I just change the subject to health funding? Mr Carr and Mr Bracks are this

morning calling on the Federal Government to put health funding back on the

table. They want to talk again, they say, that there will be a big shortfall

in the years to come unless the Federal Government gives more money.


The Federal Government is increasing funding for health by $10 billion dollars,

a 17% increased in real terms, now this. Now this a major increase. The five

year Health agreement is worth $42 billion, and what we need now, is we need

the States, one, to agree with the Commonwealth, accept the money and to lift

their own spending and to match the Commonwealth in relation to the Commonwealth

increases. Now they shouldnt be engaging in arguing about this, what they should

be doing is they should be matching the Commonwealths increases, the $10 billion

increase, 17% real, and getting on with Health Care Agreements.


In terms of how Federal-State financing also with housing with the affordibility

for first home buyers, now you have put the stamp duty argument and the Premiers

and States have also talked about release of more land too. Whats the solution

here? You both coming at it


I think one of the reasons we are having an inquiry is to look at land release

policies and it may well be that more land could be released and that would

be available for first home buyers. Now the States are in charge of land release

policies. We need to have an inquiry to get a fix on why land isnt being released,

what can be done to bring more onto the market, what can be done to make it

available at affordable prices and thats why we have got an inquiry going in

relation to that. I think it will be a very positive thing if we can get some

of the facts out, work out what is causing the difficulty at the moment, see

if we can overcome those barriers.


Does this mean wider regional development policy and de-centralisation?


Well, lets have a look at it generally and in particular in relation to Melbourne.


Treasurer, back to the Shrine. One of the Trustees said that the development

was about teaching a new generation to remember. If you were that teacher what

would you want to be taught?


I think that the lesson of the Shrine for future generations will be that,

in the First World War 18, 19, 20 year olds served their country with bravery

and distinction in a selfless way. In the Second World War young Australians

again rose to the call. And in the future young Australians can rise to the

call again to serve their country, to make it proud, to serve their fellow citizens,

maybe not in theatres of war, although Australia is engaged in theatres of war

as we speak. Brave men and women from the Australian Defence Force are serving

in the Solomon Islands, we are engaged in East Timor, we have peacekeeping operations

around the globe. But not just in theatres of war, they can serve their fellow

citizens in all sorts of areas, and can make our country proud and I think that

is the message that is going to come out of this.