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Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Page: 1904

Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (13:45): This morning I attended the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Secondary Breast Cancer with the member for Robertson, Deb O'Neill, and a number of other members from both sides of the House and senators. And it is only right that such an issue should receive bipartisan support as cancer is not a disease that discriminates on the basis of political lines and it affects us all.

When I was approached to participate as deputy chair, I did not hesitate on this particular worthwhile cause. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. In my own case, a member of my family was struck down at a very early age. At this morning's launch, we also had the wonderful privilege of listening to a presentation from Dr Paul Craft, a senior specialist in the Medical Oncology Unit at the Canberra Hospital, with some of the most telling messages being the need for constant diligence and continuing to invest in medical research. I congratulate Novartis for the great work that they are doing in this area.

We in the coalition are committed to providing certainty and making sure that the existing funding levels of $740 million continue for medical research. The statistics are absolutely frightening: on average, 37 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each day, or more than 13,500 women per year. Breast cancer remains one of the most common causes of cancer related death for Australian women. I look forward to working to raise awareness on this committee.