House debates

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Statements by Members

O'Connor Electorate: Radiation Therapy

1:46 pm

Photo of Rick WilsonRick Wilson (O'Connor, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to update the house on my campaign to build a radiation therapy unit for those battling cancer in the Great Southern of O'Connor. The federal government has provided $6.6 million to Genesis Care for a linear accelerator to be installed in Albany. Currently those needing radiotherapy need to travel to over 400 kilometres to Perth or Bunbury, even though the doctors and specialists who care for them are right there in Albany. Genesis want to get this service up and running as soon as possible, but we need the state government to assist. In August I wrote to the state Minister for Health, Roger Cook, asking for support and requested he meet with Genesis directly, and to date there has been no response.

The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, recently came to Albany, met with many of those fighting for this machine and threw his support behind the project. He subsequently raised the matter with Minister Cook. To date the only feedback I have received from the state government is through the media, saying I don't know what I am talking about and how expensive this project will be. I am reliably informed that the cost to build a facility to house this machine will be less than half the amount already committed by the federal government to purchase the linear accelerator. Furthermore, a Medicare licence issued with the machine means it will be widely accessible to those in need of radiation therapy in Albany and the broader Great Southern.

I encourage everyone in O'Connor to get behind this campaign to bring the radiotherapy unit to this region as soon as possible. To that end, I will be at the Albany Show on 9 and 10 November. Please drop in, say hello and sign our petition.