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96 responses to “Tony Abbott's mental health policy gambit”

  1. FDB

    More and better-targetted funds for MH?

    Awesome.

    What chance this was one of Emo-Man’s back-burner plans? Shall we expect Tones handing out blankets in the Cross at 4am?

  2. FDB

    More and better-targetted funds for MH?

    Awesome.

    What chance this was one of Emo-Man’s back-burner plans? Shall we expect Tones handing out blankets in the Cross at 4am?

  3. anthony nolan

    I’ve no doubt that Abbott’s plans are all spin and no cycle especially as to cuts elsewhere to fund it. However, the fact that he is able to get attention at all subsequent to a failure of Labor to increase sepnding on mental health sheets right home to Roxon’s failure to take heed of her consultative c’ttee on MH. Fail.

  4. anthony nolan

    I’ve no doubt that Abbott’s plans are all spin and no cycle especially as to cuts elsewhere to fund it. However, the fact that he is able to get attention at all subsequent to a failure of Labor to increase sepnding on mental health sheets right home to Roxon’s failure to take heed of her consultative c’ttee on MH. Fail.

  5. Fran Barlow

    Quite right Kim. describing the staff of GP super clinics as “$1.5 billion worth of bureaucrats” surely won’t win him too many friends either.

    Sadly, Roxon called the Abbott policy “crazy” which is surely a gaffe. Public policy vandalism might have been better.

  6. Fran Barlow

    Quite right Kim. describing the staff of GP super clinics as “$1.5 billion worth of bureaucrats” surely won’t win him too many friends either.

    Sadly, Roxon called the Abbott policy “crazy” which is surely a gaffe. Public policy vandalism might have been better.

  7. FDB

    Whoops – deleted a paragraph about how bailing on everything else is bad. Use your imagination. If it helps, picture me as suave and persuasive.

  8. FDB

    Whoops – deleted a paragraph about how bailing on everything else is bad. Use your imagination. If it helps, picture me as suave and persuasive.

  9. Patricia WA

    Another context in which this announcement should be evaluated is that Abbott was himself Minister for Health just over two years ago in the Coalition government; a government which had unlimited funds available to do much more to address the issues of public health which contributed so much to this crisis.

    These problems did not arrive unheralded, they were known and reported on throughout the Howard era. A decade of Coalition neglect caused many of them to worsen to this crisis point.

  10. Patricia WA

    Another context in which this announcement should be evaluated is that Abbott was himself Minister for Health just over two years ago in the Coalition government; a government which had unlimited funds available to do much more to address the issues of public health which contributed so much to this crisis.

    These problems did not arrive unheralded, they were known and reported on throughout the Howard era. A decade of Coalition neglect caused many of them to worsen to this crisis point.

  11. No one in particular

    I don’t care if it’s spin. A ‘caring-er than thou’ bidding war on mental health is just what we need. It’s been chronically underfunded for decades.

  12. No one in particular

    I don’t care if it’s spin. A ‘caring-er than thou’ bidding war on mental health is just what we need. It’s been chronically underfunded for decades.

  13. paul walter

    He should apply his quack nostrums and remedies on himself first, if the urgent changes that are required in his behaviours and thinking, against any odds materialise,
    then I’ll think about voting for the coalition.

  14. paul walter

    He should apply his quack nostrums and remedies on himself first, if the urgent changes that are required in his behaviours and thinking, against any odds materialise,
    then I’ll think about voting for the coalition.

  15. Kim

    Elsewhere: Reaction at Croakey, Bernard Keane in Crikey.

  16. Kim

    Elsewhere: Reaction at Croakey, Bernard Keane in Crikey.

  17. Sam

    I’m in two minds about de Torquemada in Lycra’s mental health announcement.

    On the one hand, it does draw attention to a real problem.

    On the other hand, coming from Tones, it is by definition a stunt, made in bad faith.

  18. Sam

    I’m in two minds about de Torquemada in Lycra’s mental health announcement.

    On the one hand, it does draw attention to a real problem.

    On the other hand, coming from Tones, it is by definition a stunt, made in bad faith.

  19. paul walter

    Geez, the stuff at #8 is not flattering for Abbott on the whole, or for that matter the government.
    I guess a couple things come to mind, including the emphasis on teenage health as a tabloid lead in that could also useful on Lauranorder issues and bagging progressives as pro drug. Elsewhere the lack of emphasis on community involved, holistic and preventive medicine, getting too close to theneed for a social critique, that…
    Which brings us to the other point, the involvement of that Borgia-esque reptile, Capolingua. Manufactured pap, the lot, is the ambience coming my way from it.

  20. paul walter

    Geez, the stuff at #8 is not flattering for Abbott on the whole, or for that matter the government.
    I guess a couple things come to mind, including the emphasis on teenage health as a tabloid lead in that could also useful on Lauranorder issues and bagging progressives as pro drug. Elsewhere the lack of emphasis on community involved, holistic and preventive medicine, getting too close to theneed for a social critique, that…
    Which brings us to the other point, the involvement of that Borgia-esque reptile, Capolingua. Manufactured pap, the lot, is the ambience coming my way from it.

  21. Spana

    Give credit where it is due. Too many here are locked in their tory – bad, ALP – good mindset and don’t even look at what is being said. It is overdue and really is not that party political an announcement. It seems to be getting a lot of good comments from those in the field. Can’t see why he would be attacked for it myself.

  22. Spana

    Give credit where it is due. Too many here are locked in their tory – bad, ALP – good mindset and don’t even look at what is being said. It is overdue and really is not that party political an announcement. It seems to be getting a lot of good comments from those in the field. Can’t see why he would be attacked for it myself.

  23. Sam

    It seems to be getting a lot of good comments from those in the field.

    Those in the field have been promised more money. Of course they are going to like it.

  24. Sam

    It seems to be getting a lot of good comments from those in the field.

    Those in the field have been promised more money. Of course they are going to like it.

  25. Robert Merkel

    Does anybody have a plausible explanation for why the government has been rather slow to act on mental health?

    Have they made the political call there’s no votes in it?

  26. Robert Merkel

    Does anybody have a plausible explanation for why the government has been rather slow to act on mental health?

    Have they made the political call there’s no votes in it?

  27. Spana

    Sam, and I guess as you are not in the field (correct me if I am wrong), you think that this extra money is a bad thing or have a better plan? Please share why this is so ba or is it just another case of having a go at Abbott because he is Abbott? If Gillard had had come out with exactly the same thing there would be people on here cheering it on. How party loyalty corrupts…

  28. Spana

    Sam, and I guess as you are not in the field (correct me if I am wrong), you think that this extra money is a bad thing or have a better plan? Please share why this is so ba or is it just another case of having a go at Abbott because he is Abbott? If Gillard had had come out with exactly the same thing there would be people on here cheering it on. How party loyalty corrupts…

  29. Matt C

    “while presiding over a continued shortage of medical staff and a near disappearance of bulk billing.”

    Get your facts right Kim. Abbott became Health Minister in 2003 and turned bulk billing rates around.

    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/0500AFF6332FAE24CA25772200245C9E/$File/graphs3_4.pdf

  30. Matt C

    “while presiding over a continued shortage of medical staff and a near disappearance of bulk billing.”

    Get your facts right Kim. Abbott became Health Minister in 2003 and turned bulk billing rates around.

    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/0500AFF6332FAE24CA25772200245C9E/$File/graphs3_4.pdf

  31. Labor Outsider

    Governments can’t do everything. They obviously decided to increase overall funding but then were faced with a decision as to which components of health were the biggest priorities. I’m sure they thought about mental health but thought it was less of a near term priority than other areas of health. Who knows whether that was for genuine policy or political reasons, or a combination of the two. It is noteworthy that Abbott can only fund this announcement by taking funds away from somewhere else. So, I guess people have to decide which is a better use of funds. Of course, the ALP could do this on top of its other plans, but that would mean either a larger deficit (unlikely) or higher taxes (also unlikely) or taking away from a non-health part of spending. Will be interesting to see how it plays out, but I’d be surprised if Labor leaves this gap unfilled between now and the election.

    It is actually pretty smart politics by Abbott. Focus on one of few components of health somewhat ignored by the government and which has a higher profile in the debate at the moment because of current AOY. He is relying on people being more impressed by this than being concerned about the things he wouldn’t fund. And he might be right.

  32. Labor Outsider

    Governments can’t do everything. They obviously decided to increase overall funding but then were faced with a decision as to which components of health were the biggest priorities. I’m sure they thought about mental health but thought it was less of a near term priority than other areas of health. Who knows whether that was for genuine policy or political reasons, or a combination of the two. It is noteworthy that Abbott can only fund this announcement by taking funds away from somewhere else. So, I guess people have to decide which is a better use of funds. Of course, the ALP could do this on top of its other plans, but that would mean either a larger deficit (unlikely) or higher taxes (also unlikely) or taking away from a non-health part of spending. Will be interesting to see how it plays out, but I’d be surprised if Labor leaves this gap unfilled between now and the election.

    It is actually pretty smart politics by Abbott. Focus on one of few components of health somewhat ignored by the government and which has a higher profile in the debate at the moment because of current AOY. He is relying on people being more impressed by this than being concerned about the things he wouldn’t fund. And he might be right.

  33. ossie

    Kim

    While we’re on social policy, he’s also declared that Indigenous disadvantage can only be ended if people take any job they can find.

    I thought we were on mental health policy, so whattha? I hoped you were about to correct Abbott by providing the correct answer.

  34. ossie

    Kim

    While we’re on social policy, he’s also declared that Indigenous disadvantage can only be ended if people take any job they can find.

    I thought we were on mental health policy, so whattha? I hoped you were about to correct Abbott by providing the correct answer.

  35. Sam

    It is actually pretty smart politics by Abbott.

    Nah, he’s just pandering to the Liberal Party base.

  36. Sam

    It is actually pretty smart politics by Abbott.

    Nah, he’s just pandering to the Liberal Party base.

  37. Nickws

    Sam @18: Nah, he’s just pandering to the Liberal Party base.

    If you mean that the doctors are strongly in the Liberal camp, well, I can only hope the Abbott leadership is foolish enough to believe they get more than a plurality of ’em at the ballot box. Nothing wrong with the conservative side being stuck in 1980, makes them easier to beat. (And the nurses? From the ones I’ve known I can declare there’s definitely no Monkphilia in that quarter.)

    But as to the policy objectives and its impact on the community I’m going to say something very ugly—the rationale behind this is influenced 100% by middle class welfare politics. Doesn’t matter if Nelson or Turnbull or Abbott or Robb originally drafted this in bleeding-heart communitarian/mental illness survivor mode, I know in my heart that to get shadow Cabinet behind this policy it was sold as being all about buffeting the affluent voters of the Liberal heartland from one of the greatest threats they face, a threat which the affluent can’t handle by themselves without government support.

    Just compare this to subsidised dental care. I’ve needed emergency root canal surgeries (plural) in the past, and each time I was fortunate enough to be able to pay the costs, even on my credit card if necessary. Most people above my socio-economic status are even more secure, having private policy coverage for dental or being able to just pay out of pocket. Some people below my social economic status can do what I did, but not everyone. Plenty have it very rough indeed.

    The Howard government was able to cut dental care because, well, it’s not like the people above me were relying on Commonwealth subsidies (above and beyond the PBS) in this area.

    But emergency psychiatric interventions? Who has private coverage to provide for that to the same extent as dental, or chiropody, or any number of areas needing specialist attention? Hell, I’m glad that my loved ones who have spent time in private hospitals were being treated for physiological problems, not psychological ones. Because they were in regional private hospitals.

    And I don’t even know if surburban private hospitals are any better. Many fairly well-to-do faimilies with disturbed children probably wouldn’t think so.

    Just because this policy could help everyone with mental illness problems, regardless of what electorate they come from or what school they were educated in, it doesn’t therefore follow it was inspired by everyone with mental problems. Public policy shouldn’t be done like that.

  38. Nickws

    Sam @18: Nah, he’s just pandering to the Liberal Party base.

    If you mean that the doctors are strongly in the Liberal camp, well, I can only hope the Abbott leadership is foolish enough to believe they get more than a plurality of ’em at the ballot box. Nothing wrong with the conservative side being stuck in 1980, makes them easier to beat. (And the nurses? From the ones I’ve known I can declare there’s definitely no Monkphilia in that quarter.)

    But as to the policy objectives and its impact on the community I’m going to say something very ugly—the rationale behind this is influenced 100% by middle class welfare politics. Doesn’t matter if Nelson or Turnbull or Abbott or Robb originally drafted this in bleeding-heart communitarian/mental illness survivor mode, I know in my heart that to get shadow Cabinet behind this policy it was sold as being all about buffeting the affluent voters of the Liberal heartland from one of the greatest threats they face, a threat which the affluent can’t handle by themselves without government support.

    Just compare this to subsidised dental care. I’ve needed emergency root canal surgeries (plural) in the past, and each time I was fortunate enough to be able to pay the costs, even on my credit card if necessary. Most people above my socio-economic status are even more secure, having private policy coverage for dental or being able to just pay out of pocket. Some people below my social economic status can do what I did, but not everyone. Plenty have it very rough indeed.

    The Howard government was able to cut dental care because, well, it’s not like the people above me were relying on Commonwealth subsidies (above and beyond the PBS) in this area.

    But emergency psychiatric interventions? Who has private coverage to provide for that to the same extent as dental, or chiropody, or any number of areas needing specialist attention? Hell, I’m glad that my loved ones who have spent time in private hospitals were being treated for physiological problems, not psychological ones. Because they were in regional private hospitals.

    And I don’t even know if surburban private hospitals are any better. Many fairly well-to-do faimilies with disturbed children probably wouldn’t think so.

    Just because this policy could help everyone with mental illness problems, regardless of what electorate they come from or what school they were educated in, it doesn’t therefore follow it was inspired by everyone with mental problems. Public policy shouldn’t be done like that.

  39. Andrew

    Sam @9 “On the other hand, coming from Tones, it is by definition a stunt, made in bad faith.”

    no chance we’ll play the policy and not the man?

  40. Andrew

    Sam @9 “On the other hand, coming from Tones, it is by definition a stunt, made in bad faith.”

    no chance we’ll play the policy and not the man?

  41. jane

    So Spana, which areas of health would you nominate to have its funding stripped to fund Smuggles’ mental health thought bubble?

  42. jane

    So Spana, which areas of health would you nominate to have its funding stripped to fund Smuggles’ mental health thought bubble?

  43. Robert Merkel

    Governments can’t do everything. They obviously decided to increase overall funding but then were faced with a decision as to which components of health were the biggest priorities. I’m sure they thought about mental health but thought it was less of a near term priority than other areas of health. Who knows whether that was for genuine policy or political reasons, or a combination of the two.

    Sure, LO, but as I understand it, it’s pretty well established by the policy wonks that mental health is underfunded (and not just because practitioners in the area are screaming for more money).

    The question is then why the government has chosen (at least up till now) why to ignore that message.

  44. Robert Merkel

    Governments can’t do everything. They obviously decided to increase overall funding but then were faced with a decision as to which components of health were the biggest priorities. I’m sure they thought about mental health but thought it was less of a near term priority than other areas of health. Who knows whether that was for genuine policy or political reasons, or a combination of the two.

    Sure, LO, but as I understand it, it’s pretty well established by the policy wonks that mental health is underfunded (and not just because practitioners in the area are screaming for more money).

    The question is then why the government has chosen (at least up till now) why to ignore that message.

  45. Robert Merkel

    It’s also worth noting that some of the key advocates in the discussion (Pat McGorry, for instance) do have their own particular barrows to push, beyond a general concern for increased mental health funding. They have their own views about which particular areas should attract more funding, and which are lower priority.

  46. Robert Merkel

    It’s also worth noting that some of the key advocates in the discussion (Pat McGorry, for instance) do have their own particular barrows to push, beyond a general concern for increased mental health funding. They have their own views about which particular areas should attract more funding, and which are lower priority.

  47. Alister

    Just in case you’re unconvinced at the importance of further support for mental health, this article in The Age provides a useful guide.

    Disclaimer (read the article, you’ll figure it out).

  48. Alister

    Just in case you’re unconvinced at the importance of further support for mental health, this article in The Age provides a useful guide.

    Disclaimer (read the article, you’ll figure it out).

  49. Sam

    Nickws, I didn’t mean the doctors. I meant the mentally ill.

  50. Sam

    Nickws, I didn’t mean the doctors. I meant the mentally ill.

  51. Michael W

    This is Abbott policy on the run again. He saw the government weak spot on mental health after the Mendoza resignation and he cobbled together a funding package to make Labor look like they’re lagging behind. His policy would be welcome additional funding if it wasn’t so specialist psychiatrist centred.
    The reason why Labor is avoiding mental health is because they’ve seen what happened when Howard tried to fix it with the Better Outcomes in Mental Health program. A well intentioned scheme, it has led to a massive blowout in mental health costs as it funds talk therapy by psychologists for middle class neurotics.

  52. Michael W

    This is Abbott policy on the run again. He saw the government weak spot on mental health after the Mendoza resignation and he cobbled together a funding package to make Labor look like they’re lagging behind. His policy would be welcome additional funding if it wasn’t so specialist psychiatrist centred.
    The reason why Labor is avoiding mental health is because they’ve seen what happened when Howard tried to fix it with the Better Outcomes in Mental Health program. A well intentioned scheme, it has led to a massive blowout in mental health costs as it funds talk therapy by psychologists for middle class neurotics.

  53. Nickws

    Sam, I prefer identifying the concept of middle class welfarism as the pander here.

    The Libs have form in that area. I’m waiting for very concerned people to show up and accost me for hating people with mental illnesses.

  54. Nickws

    Sam, I prefer identifying the concept of middle class welfarism as the pander here.

    The Libs have form in that area. I’m waiting for very concerned people to show up and accost me for hating people with mental illnesses.

  55. No one in particular

    Shrug. And this is why mental health has been underfunded for decades, through both Liberal and Labor governments. Because we still believe that the money should be spend on ‘really sick’ people. You know, the ones with real, physical illnesses and not just psychological ones. Early psychosis intervention, when you boil it down, is just a bunch overpriced talking shops for middle class neurotics after all.

  56. No one in particular

    Shrug. And this is why mental health has been underfunded for decades, through both Liberal and Labor governments. Because we still believe that the money should be spend on ‘really sick’ people. You know, the ones with real, physical illnesses and not just psychological ones. Early psychosis intervention, when you boil it down, is just a bunch overpriced talking shops for middle class neurotics after all.

  57. No one in particular

    Once upon a time I tried training my puppy by hitting him with a newspaper whenever he did anything at all, good or bad, because I could see in his eyes that he wasn’t obeying out of conviction but out of a sneaky desire to get more food.

    Didn’t work very well.

  58. No one in particular

    Once upon a time I tried training my puppy by hitting him with a newspaper whenever he did anything at all, good or bad, because I could see in his eyes that he wasn’t obeying out of conviction but out of a sneaky desire to get more food.

    Didn’t work very well.

  59. Howard Cunningham

    Every silver lining has a cloud.

    Expect no credit to Tone on here, no matter what he does.

  60. Howard Cunningham

    Every silver lining has a cloud.

    Expect no credit to Tone on here, no matter what he does.

  61. Agnes

    i work in community mental health, front line, crisis intervention. we’ve been propping up expensive care for years with the money sheree burton, the former minister assisting the minister for mental health ‘quarantined’ for us 5 years ago. too many chiefs and not enough indians in mental health. we’re also snowed under with paperwork, and don’t have enough time to see people in need. we need more money for more crisis staff, and less committees.

  62. Agnes

    i work in community mental health, front line, crisis intervention. we’ve been propping up expensive care for years with the money sheree burton, the former minister assisting the minister for mental health ‘quarantined’ for us 5 years ago. too many chiefs and not enough indians in mental health. we’re also snowed under with paperwork, and don’t have enough time to see people in need. we need more money for more crisis staff, and less committees.

  63. Agnes

    all the extra paperwork and conference time expected of exclusively community MENTAL health NURSES is driving us out of nursing. we don’t have time to see our clients. this is a big reason why mental health problems are overwhelming emergency departments … cmh nurses don’t have time to circumvent these admissions with good old-fashioned primary health care. and giving more medicare money for psychology doesn’t help … psychologists rarely see people in crisis … that is left to nurses. but we’re being driven out of the health system by bureaurocracy. I can’t see either side fixing that in a hurry.

  64. Agnes

    all the extra paperwork and conference time expected of exclusively community MENTAL health NURSES is driving us out of nursing. we don’t have time to see our clients. this is a big reason why mental health problems are overwhelming emergency departments … cmh nurses don’t have time to circumvent these admissions with good old-fashioned primary health care. and giving more medicare money for psychology doesn’t help … psychologists rarely see people in crisis … that is left to nurses. but we’re being driven out of the health system by bureaurocracy. I can’t see either side fixing that in a hurry.

  65. Damien Blackley

    Whether it be the Government or the Coalition their policies do nothing for those who suffer the more serious forms of Mental Illness, such as Schizophrenia. There is no cure for such an illnesses such as this. Medication will give them a chance to return to a normal life in the Community. But there are those who will spend periods of hospitalization for the rest of there lives.

    How many times have I heard a Doctor say ‘Until we know what causes chemicals in the brain to malfunction we will never be able to find a real cure’.

    They can spend millions on prevention but what good does it do for those who suffer the more serious forms of Mental Illness.

  66. Damien Blackley

    Whether it be the Government or the Coalition their policies do nothing for those who suffer the more serious forms of Mental Illness, such as Schizophrenia. There is no cure for such an illnesses such as this. Medication will give them a chance to return to a normal life in the Community. But there are those who will spend periods of hospitalization for the rest of there lives.

    How many times have I heard a Doctor say ‘Until we know what causes chemicals in the brain to malfunction we will never be able to find a real cure’.

    They can spend millions on prevention but what good does it do for those who suffer the more serious forms of Mental Illness.

  67. Fran Barlow

    It’s also far from clear that the services covered by this 1.5 billion will make acutally produce a benefit commensurate with the expenditure or anything like the benefits now foregone in the $1.5 billion of health services to be discarded.

    What we need is a rigourous process to establish what is good clinical practice in cost-benefit terms for a range of mental health needs. We do this for druyg subsidies and other elements of health. What is so special about mental health?

    At the moment, we can’t even be sure that some of the proposed publicly funded interventions won’t harm some people. That should give us pause.

  68. Fran Barlow

    It’s also far from clear that the services covered by this 1.5 billion will make acutally produce a benefit commensurate with the expenditure or anything like the benefits now foregone in the $1.5 billion of health services to be discarded.

    What we need is a rigourous process to establish what is good clinical practice in cost-benefit terms for a range of mental health needs. We do this for druyg subsidies and other elements of health. What is so special about mental health?

    At the moment, we can’t even be sure that some of the proposed publicly funded interventions won’t harm some people. That should give us pause.

  69. Agnes

    terrific Fran … more bureauracracy and more paperwork. terrific.

  70. Agnes

    terrific Fran … more bureauracracy and more paperwork. terrific.

  71. Fran Barlow

    Agnes

    What do you have against properly structured processes?

    Do you want the goals of programs to be measurable?

    Do you want programs that either meet the goals for which they were designed, or if they do not, reveal the extent, the character and drivers of the failure so that mistakes are not repeated?

    I do.

    Simply running the old populist anti-bureaucracy whine is a recipe for arbitrary governance and the very complaints about governments not being able to do anything well that is the stock in trade of reactionary proponents of minimal government.

    Good policy is evidence-based. It takes the best models of policy as its starting point. It has a development cycle starting from the accurate identification of the needs beneficiaries, the tools available, the implications for other areas of policy of particular program choices, the relevant timelines for implementation and timely quantitative and qualitative auditing prior to each new decision point.

    Without that, the most apt interventions to improve the quality of life of those with mental health challenges cannot possibly be realised, though of course, one can manage some very handy posturing at the expense of the sufferers.

    That is what you are effectively demanding.

  72. Fran Barlow

    Agnes

    What do you have against properly structured processes?

    Do you want the goals of programs to be measurable?

    Do you want programs that either meet the goals for which they were designed, or if they do not, reveal the extent, the character and drivers of the failure so that mistakes are not repeated?

    I do.

    Simply running the old populist anti-bureaucracy whine is a recipe for arbitrary governance and the very complaints about governments not being able to do anything well that is the stock in trade of reactionary proponents of minimal government.

    Good policy is evidence-based. It takes the best models of policy as its starting point. It has a development cycle starting from the accurate identification of the needs beneficiaries, the tools available, the implications for other areas of policy of particular program choices, the relevant timelines for implementation and timely quantitative and qualitative auditing prior to each new decision point.

    Without that, the most apt interventions to improve the quality of life of those with mental health challenges cannot possibly be realised, though of course, one can manage some very handy posturing at the expense of the sufferers.

    That is what you are effectively demanding.

  73. Howard Cunningham

    Fran is right – good policy is evidence based. Example:

    A trade is about to be expanded due to a large government subsidy, in the form of a payment to consumers of a product.

    This trade is currently (depending on jurisdiction) either not regulated or lightly regulated.

    The work is potentially dangerous, as interaction with cramped spaces containing live electrical wiring is likely.

    Evidence-based conclusion: concurrently with introduction of subsidy, increase regulation in the trade with the examination of current practitioners for “grandfathering” into registration, and introduce training and experience based learning, followed by practical examination for new tradespeople seeking registration.

    That, people, is dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s.

    End of lesson.

  74. Howard Cunningham

    Fran is right – good policy is evidence based. Example:

    A trade is about to be expanded due to a large government subsidy, in the form of a payment to consumers of a product.

    This trade is currently (depending on jurisdiction) either not regulated or lightly regulated.

    The work is potentially dangerous, as interaction with cramped spaces containing live electrical wiring is likely.

    Evidence-based conclusion: concurrently with introduction of subsidy, increase regulation in the trade with the examination of current practitioners for “grandfathering” into registration, and introduce training and experience based learning, followed by practical examination for new tradespeople seeking registration.

    That, people, is dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s.

    End of lesson.

  75. Tim Macknay

    To switch the discussion to shallow, 24/7 media cycle politics for a moment: Whatever the merits or otherwise of Tones’ proposal, it now doesn’t matter since his announcement has been banished from the media’s goldfish memory banks by the Gillard/Swan mining tax anouncement.

  76. Tim Macknay

    To switch the discussion to shallow, 24/7 media cycle politics for a moment: Whatever the merits or otherwise of Tones’ proposal, it now doesn’t matter since his announcement has been banished from the media’s goldfish memory banks by the Gillard/Swan mining tax anouncement.

  77. Kim

    @17 – Health policy is usually seen as part of social policy, for instance in the compilation of statistics on spending by the OECD.

  78. Kim

    @17 – Health policy is usually seen as part of social policy, for instance in the compilation of statistics on spending by the OECD.

  79. Andrew E

    Oh come on folks, it’s non core. That “government can’t do everything” rubbish would only hold water if mental health had done pretty well and this year they just have to sit on the bench. Seriously, LO, read your post again and tell me it is not the most paternalistic Tory drivel you’ve ever seen in your life:

    I’m sure to the point of torpor that those clever chaps and chapettes at the Department and the Caucus have given this a jolly lot of thought, so why don’t you stop playing at public policy and let the great and good do what’s best, hmm?

  80. Andrew E

    Oh come on folks, it’s non core. That “government can’t do everything” rubbish would only hold water if mental health had done pretty well and this year they just have to sit on the bench. Seriously, LO, read your post again and tell me it is not the most paternalistic Tory drivel you’ve ever seen in your life:

    I’m sure to the point of torpor that those clever chaps and chapettes at the Department and the Caucus have given this a jolly lot of thought, so why don’t you stop playing at public policy and let the great and good do what’s best, hmm?

  81. John D

    Tony should be applauded by this proposal in part because a lot of serious social problems including homelessness, health care costs and crime levels are made worse by a shortcoming s in the mental care system.

    However, he should not be applauded for for playing the worn old “bureaucrats are useless line.” I would take his proposal more seriously if he had proposed a new levy (can’t use the T word.) or decided that it was more important to act on mental health than to pay mothers on well paid jobs a higher level of maternity leave for people on lower incomes.

    He would have impressed me even more if he had said that he was not going to oppose the MRRT so long as the company tax reduction was dropped and the extra revenue used to support his proposal.

  82. John D

    Tony should be applauded by this proposal in part because a lot of serious social problems including homelessness, health care costs and crime levels are made worse by a shortcoming s in the mental care system.

    However, he should not be applauded for for playing the worn old “bureaucrats are useless line.” I would take his proposal more seriously if he had proposed a new levy (can’t use the T word.) or decided that it was more important to act on mental health than to pay mothers on well paid jobs a higher level of maternity leave for people on lower incomes.

    He would have impressed me even more if he had said that he was not going to oppose the MRRT so long as the company tax reduction was dropped and the extra revenue used to support his proposal.

  83. Spana

    Jane, I would close Pine Gap and other US bases and direct all associated savings to health. You don’t have to cut health funds. You could also just ban Gillard from flying to ALP fundraisers at taxpayers expense and you will have $9000 each time.

  84. Spana

    Jane, I would close Pine Gap and other US bases and direct all associated savings to health. You don’t have to cut health funds. You could also just ban Gillard from flying to ALP fundraisers at taxpayers expense and you will have $9000 each time.

  85. jane

    Spana, since Smuggles is the one who intends to fund his mental health spend by ripping off funding to other areas of health, perhaps it would make far more sense to ban his taxpayer funded junkets. After all, it is his policy, not Gillard’s.

  86. jane

    Spana, since Smuggles is the one who intends to fund his mental health spend by ripping off funding to other areas of health, perhaps it would make far more sense to ban his taxpayer funded junkets. After all, it is his policy, not Gillard’s.

  87. Mark

    Guy Rundle:

    A half million Australians are seriously afflicted by various forms of mental and existential disorder. If another three and a half million are depressed, a society of all against all, short term contracts, unaffordable housing, growing inequality and much more may have something to do with it. Or are liberals so alienated from their own traditions, that they are happy to be chemically adjusted to reality, rather than mastering it?

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/07/03/robbing-peter-mac-to-pay-for-the-pall-mental-illness-and-the-coalitions-health-policy/

  88. Mark

    Guy Rundle:

    A half million Australians are seriously afflicted by various forms of mental and existential disorder. If another three and a half million are depressed, a society of all against all, short term contracts, unaffordable housing, growing inequality and much more may have something to do with it. Or are liberals so alienated from their own traditions, that they are happy to be chemically adjusted to reality, rather than mastering it?

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/07/03/robbing-peter-mac-to-pay-for-the-pall-mental-illness-and-the-coalitions-health-policy/

  89. KeiThy

    Nothing to worry about here!

  90. KeiThy

    Nothing to worry about here!

  91. KeiThy

    Nil!

  92. KeiThy

    Nil!

  93. KeiThy

    “Bye Bye Phoney Tony!”

  94. KeiThy

    “Bye Bye Phoney Tony!”

  95. PeterTB

    since Smuggles is the one

    Is calling someone “puerile” for this sort of name calling sexist?

  96. PeterTB

    since Smuggles is the one

    Is calling someone “puerile” for this sort of name calling sexist?