Anthony faces barrage - Debate like Labor rally



RICHMOND MP Larry Anthony came under fire on Medicare issues from what appeared more like a Labor rally at last night's election debate in Banora Point. A group of more than 100 voters turned out to the Salvation Army Centre to hear six of Richmond's eight candidates debate the finer points of Medicare. In questions from the floor, Mr Anthony was attacked and heckled by many people in the room, while Labor candidate Justine Elliot enjoyed majority support. Candidates from the Democrats, Family First, the Greens and the Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDF) were directed few questions. The heavily-promoted safety net came under fire by the rowdy crowd, who said only rich people could afford to spend $300 on medical costs to qualify. "The suggestion that someone is spending more than $300 looking after their health is ridiculous, just ridiculous," Mr Anthony said. The Labor Government's plan to boost bulk billing came under fire by doctors, who said from the front line it was unrealistic. "Our approach is an overall approach to restore bulk billing," Ms Elliot answered. The only chance the crowd got to hear about the minor parties was during their opening addresses to the audience. Family First's Craig Lees said they wanted mental health and dental covered by Medicare and drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Greens' Susanna Flower said they wanted private health funds put into public health, aboriginal health care and Medicare to include dental and alternative healing. Democrats' Timothy WilsonBrown also wanted more alternative health funding. NDF's Dean Jefferys wanted war funds directed elsewhere.



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