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Monday, 3 March 2014
Page: 1306

Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:32): I seek leave to provide to the House a petition calling for the federal government to grant an MRI licence for use in Mount Gambier. On Tuesday, 18 February, I had the great privilege of welcoming the federal Minister for Health to my home town of Mount Gambier, marking the first visit to Barker by a member of federal cabinet since last year's federal election. The visit included a well-attended public health forum at which about 80 local community members participated in a question and answer session with the minister. At the conclusion of the forum, Liberal candidate for Mount Gambier Troy Bell presented to me and the minister the petition that I have just provided to the House, calling on the federal government to grant an MRI licence to Mount Gambier. In recent months Mr Bell has collected some 3,500 signatures for the petition, and I congratulate him for his efforts. If given the privilege, he will make an exceptional representative for the people of Mount Gambier.

The minister's visit showed that members of the federal government, including members of cabinet, are keen to be as accessible as possible to members of the community. We are very grateful to the Minister for Health for spending time in Barker and participating in what is a vital ongoing discussion about the future of health in regional Australia. I was elected on the platform of supporting our health system in the electorate of Barker to ensure we meet current and future challenges and I am proud to be a member of the federal government because, through the diligence being shown by the Minister for Health, we are overseeing better investment and better healthcare outcomes for all regional Australians.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): The member for Barker said he was presenting a petition; Member for Barker, were you seeking leave?

Mr PASIN: I do seek leave.

Ms Macklin: I do not want to be difficult—because it is obviously a very important matter; I have just had a quick look at it—but, normally, it should go to the Petitions Committee. So maybe, Member for Barker, you would like to speak to them about it, but I am sure, once it goes through that process, it will be okay.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thank the member for Jagajaga. Member for Barker, it will be forwarded to the Petitions Committee.