Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Statements by Members
Last Friday the member for Gorton and I attended the annual service in memory of people who have died from asbestos-related illnesses. The service was held at Pitman Park in Salisbury where, 10 years ago, a memorial to asbestos victims was established. Every year, white wooden crosses with the names of people who have died from asbestos-related diseases are placed in the ground next to the memorial. Sadly, the number of crosses increases each year, and this year they numbered in the hundreds.
Around 700 Australians die each year from asbestos-related illnesses, and thousands of Australians are likely to be diagnosed with these diseases over coming decades. Regrettably, asbestos products are still being manufactured and sold around the world, putting more people at risk. It is a practice that needs to stop. Australia needs to play its part in preventing the manufacture, sale and distribution of asbestos products, regardless of where they are being sold.
In South Australia, the Asbestos Victims Association of South Australia provides moral and practical support to victims of asbestos and their families. I commend the volunteers, led by President Terry Miller, for all they do for those families at a very difficult time in their lives. Being a volunteer organisation, they have no paid staff and provide their services through the generosity of their volunteers. I am bringing this matter to the attention of the federal government because any financial assistance that could be provided to the Asbestos Victims Association of South Australia would be very well used in supporting those families.