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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6506


Mr MURPHY (Reid) (13:49): I wish to congratulate the member for Mitchell on his promotion and support of Motor Neurone Disease Global Awareness Day, or Cornflower Day. In a recent letter to his parliamentary colleagues, the member for Mitchell records that motor neurone disease is a rapidly progressing, terminal neurological disease that leaves an active mind trapped in a motionless body and that this reality is faced by 1,400 Australians each year.

I wear this flower today very proudly to highlight the terrible impact this insidious disease has on sufferers and their families. Very recently, motor neurone disease touched a member of my staff, forcing an early retirement. Totally unexpected, this illness hit hard with no warning, rendering my staff member unable to continue in his role. The progression has been rapid and, alas, there is no cure. There remains, therefore, a critical need for ongoing research to find causes and a suitable treatment and cure. It is an illness which affects the entire family, who, together with their afflicted loved one, must come to terms with the illness and its ultimate progression. In addition, families must deal with the matter of the ongoing care of their loved one. By wearing this flower today, we help highlight this devastating neurological disease and bring this disease and its impact on families to the attention of all Australians.

I again congratulate the member for Mitchell for his initiative and I also congratulate Motor Neurone Disease Australia on their very hard work combating this illness. I urge the Australian government to expand its support of medical research on motor neurone disease.