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Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Page: 4546

Mr TURNOUR (9:33 AM) —I had the great pleasure of attending Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at the Manoora Community Centre on 22 May 2008. This fundraiser for the Cancer Council happens every year and is the council’s foremost fundraising event, having raised over $40 million since it began in 1994.

Cancer touches everyone’s life, with one in two men and one in three women developing cancer before the age of 55. In Australia each year, 106,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed, and cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia, with more than 39,000 people dying each year. Cancer is difficult to deal with at the best of times, but for families living in rural and regional areas like Cairns and tropical North Queensland, where there are a lack of facilities to properly treat cancer, it can be extremely difficult to manage. Many people have to travel away to Townsville or Brisbane for treatment. That is why the efforts of Chris Acraman, Robyn Martin, Tapu Rea, Paulo Leaso, Roxanne Rae and Ipu Leaso at the Manoora Community Centre to host a Biggest Morning Tea and raise money to help find a cure, as well as to support cancer sufferers, is so appreciated by our local community. They joined with thousands of others who attended Biggest Morning Teas across our region and the country to raise money for this very worthy cause.

The efforts of Cairns and tropical North Queensland to raise money for cancer were also on display last weekend. The Queensland Cancer Council’s Relay for Life event in Cairns again attracted thousands of people to Barlow Park. I am happy to report that the Cairns Relay for Life was the second largest in the country, behind Perth. Given that the region’s population is in the hundreds of thousands, not in the millions like other regions, this is a great achievement by the committee led by Grahame Doeblien and project officer Carol Hopkins.

This year 178 teams participated, representing a vast array of the community, from Cairns hospital to the local department of primary industries, banks and local community organisations. They came together for Relay for Life and raised over $425,000. They walked continuously for 18 hours around Barlow Park tracks. The highest number of laps achieved by the team was 502 laps, which was a great effort. The other great thing about Cairns Relay for Life this year was that 215 cancer survivors came out and led the walk—this was up from 145 cancer survivors who participated last year.

Along with other members of the community, I salute the efforts of those who participated in the Biggest Morning Tea and the organisers of the Relay for Life. We thank them for their efforts through the good work of the Queensland Cancer Council to raise money to find a cure and to support those people suffering cancer.