House debates

Monday, 18 February 2019

Statements by Members

O'Connor Electorate: Radiation Therapy

1:56 pm

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

I'll start today by welcoming Anne Byrne and Ellen Sims, who have come all the way from my home town of Katanning, Western Australia to visit me here in parliament today. Katanning is part of the Great Southern, and I rise today to update the House on the progress of efforts to bring a world-class radiotherapy service to the Great Southern. The federal government granted GenesisCare $6.6 million in 2017 to build a linear accelerator machine to treat those suffering from radiation-responsive cancers close to home rather than having to travel 400 kilometres to Perth or Bunbury for treatment. I'm pleased to provide the House with an update of the progress.

Mary Williams and her team of tireless Albany Radiation Machine Project volunteers took advantage of last week's visit to Albany by Premier Mark McGowan and opposition leader Mike Nahan. Mary presented hard copy petitions to Premier McGowan and Dr Nahan as well as health minister Roger Cook. Unfortunately, it looks like this machine won't be installed by July 2019, the deadline GenesisCare proposed in their grant application which secured them the $6.6 million funding. WA health minister Roger Cook has updated me that his government has commissioned a feasibility study into the co-location at the Albany Health Campus, which will commence this month and take four months to complete. I've approached the federal health minister, Greg Hunt, to guarantee that this $6.6 million federal grant will stand beyond the July 2019 deadline and I'm hopeful that he will accept the extension. GenesisCare maintains that the Albany Health Campus is the ideal location for this machine due to the synergies with existing gold-standard diagnostic, surgical and chemotherapy services, and I'll continue to fight— (Time expired)