Transcript of remarks at the launch of the Springfield Cancer Care Centre, Springfield
TUE 10 JULY 2012
Subject(s): Springfield Cancer Care Centre
PM: I want to acknowledge first and foremost the work of Shayne Neumann, in his capacity as the Member for Blair, and Bernie Ripoll in his capacity as the Member for Oxley, in bringing us here today.
We literally wouldn’t be here for this announcement if it wasn’t for Shayne and Bernie. And both I and Parliamentary Secretary Catherine King can talk about their persistence, indeed insistence, that we came to this community and made a difference for its future. So thank you for your very fierce advocacy for your local community.
These two great local representatives share a community vision for this place, and in this wonderfully planned community where so many people make their home, it’s a vision that’s shared broadly across the community and has been very driven by Maha and his team.
It’s a vision of a community where people can come and make their lives and be able to get the services that they need. So we’ve looked out on the great schools, and I’ve had the opportunity to talk to young Holly about being a school kid in this community and the great school she goes to.
But there has been something missing, and that has been the ability for people to get care for cancer in their local community.
Unfortunately too many Australians are going to confront the problem of having cancer during the course of their lives, and all of us know from our personal experience from our family and friends people who have had to confront cancer and getting cancer treatment.
For local community members now, that can be not only a daunting personal experience with all of the fear and all of the stresses and strains that come with having an illness, but it can also be an experience about spending a long time on roads away from family and friends looking for treatment where you can get it, but because it’s not available in your local community you have to travel.
So people have had to travel to the south of Brisbane, to the Mater Hospital, they’ve had to travel to the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Indeed some people have had to make the huge journey to Toowoomba in order to get treatment.
And if you just stop and think about it for a moment, what it would feel like, to know that not only do you have to think about your health and deal with all of those issues of confronting illness, but to get the treatment you need, the chemotherapy or whatever treatment is required, you have to travel a long distance every time you need that treatment.
So that has been a real service gap here. Shayne and Bernie have consistently said that service gap needs to be filled, so I am very proud to be with them and my colleague Catherine King to announce today that we will commit over $21 million to building the Springfield Cancer Care Centre right here. In fact it’s going to be right across the road.
I want to acknowledge the generosity of Maha and his team in donating the land to put it on. That is really a contribution of around $2 million. Thank you very much for your generosity in making that happen.
This money will mean that a cancer care centre will be available for this community. Where they already come for services, they will be able to get that support if they need it during a very difficult time of their lives.
I think this is good news for the local community, I know if fits in with the local community’s vision about its future.
We’re here today because the local members Shayne and Bernie have understood the need for this new service, and it really is a great delight to be here and able to announce that we will fund it and get it done.
So thank you very much to everyone who’s come to celebrate with us, and I’ll hand back to Shayne who is able to say that he’s been arguing for this for a long period of time.
I was joking before if you don’t get confronted by Bernie and Shayne in the corridors in Parliament House, every time you look down at your phone there’s a text or a message! So it’s all worked, thank you for your advocacy, and good news today.
Thank you very much.