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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13367

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (19:52): I also rise to support the motion brought to the chamber by the member for Solomon whose passion and commitment to the people of the Northern Territory is a driving factor behind her continued support for improved health outcomes and health facilities, particularly the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, because it enables Darwin, in a regional context of Asia, to be a key player in partnering with those significant hospitals in the South-East Asian countries.

In times of crisis throughout the region, Australia has always been able to harness trauma and critical care teams that fly from the capital cities. In particular, I have been associated with the work of critical care teams sent from New South Wales and Western Australia to provide that front line service that has always been welcome by our near neighbours. We will continue to see significant incidents and events in which people will be injured and loss of life will occur. It is those who have the trauma of injury, the counselling that is required and the medical intervention and support that forms the basis of a healing process. In that context, we will always continue to provide the medical teams that are required. The decision by the Hon. John Howard to establish a significant centre to deal with critical care and trauma in Darwin speaks volumes in terms of the commitment that Australia gives to its neighbours.

I have had the privilege of working with Dr Fiona Wood, who has been involved with burn victims, and I know the emotions and feelings that went through her when she started to deal with the people who survived the Bali bombing and had severe burns. I heard her speak recently where that emotion is still very raw within her, even though the event occurred some time ago. The Northern Territory and the Royal Darwin Hospital have staff in a critical centre not only to provide for the needs of people in the Territory and across the Top End but also, more importantly in times of crisis, to be close at hand and not four hours away when there is a need for that level of experience. I do not think Australia will ever resile from, and I certainly do not see any government resiling from, its continued support for the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre because it plays a leadership and research role within the tropical climate and region as well. With the release of the government's position paper on Asia, it puts us in a prime position to be a key player in the provision of training, medical understanding, research and those other key and critical elements. The way the service has been provided is an outstanding commitment, initially by the Howard government and then by subsequent governments to continue to provide that level of service.

I want to acknowledge all of those who are part of that national centre, because it gives me that real strong sense of a commitment. It also enables the connectivity to the experience and skills that are south of Darwin, but at the same time having a point of coordination out of Australia in Darwin that will link to all those critical points that will need to be established. The contribution is welcomed, given the significant events that have occurred previously—in Bali and Aceh when we flew critical teams there; and other events such as with the drownings and the people seeking asylum in this country. Again, this centre is in close proximity and will provide immediate emergency and trauma treatment as required. Deputy Speaker Grierson, I thank you for the opportunity and certainly support the member for Solomon's passion on this issue.