States in talks for fund­ing

The Weekend Post - - Nation - AN­GUS LIV­INGSTON

TWO states have signed up to the prime min­is­ter’s new na­tional hos­pi­tal fund­ing deal, but oth­ers are call­ing for Medi­care re­forms and more cash be­fore they agree.

The Coun­cil of Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ments meet­ing wrapped up in Canberra yes­ter­day with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment reach­ing agree­ment with NSW and Western Aus­tralia on hos­pi­tal fund­ing.

How­ever, Vic­to­ria won’t sign un­til it sees Medi­care re­form, while Queens­land will only sign once it gets $170 mil­lion in fed­eral fund­ing it is owed.

Prime Min­is­ter Malcolm Turn­bull said the agree­ment with NSW and WA would pump an ex­tra $9 bil­lion and more than $3.5 bil­lion re­spec­tively into their state hos­pi­tal sys­tems over five years from 2020.

“I look for­ward to other ju- ris­dic­tions se­cur­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing in com­ing months,” Mr Turn­bull said.

Vic­to­rian Premier Daniel An­drews said he couldn’t sign on un­til he saw a plan to re­form Medi­care to keep more peo­ple out of the hos­pi­tal sys­tem, but he was “en­cour­aged” the work would be done.

The pre­miers also agreed to for­mally re­spond to the rec­om­men­da­tions of the royal com­mis­sion into child sex­ual abuse by June.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment wants the states and ter­ri­to­ries and in­sti­tu­tions such as churches to sign up to a na­tional re­dress scheme, which is sched­uled to start on July 1.

Mr Turn­bull said a na­tional schools agree­ment was on track to be signed by Septem­ber.

A re­view of the Clos­ing the Gap pro­gram to ad­dress indige­nous dis­ad­van­tage was ex­tended and is now due to re­port in Oc­to­ber.

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