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Thursday, 17 October 2002
Page: 5353

Senator ALLISON (Victoria) (9.34 a.m.)—I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Saturday, 28 September 2002, was World Retina Day,

(ii) macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease and is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in Australia,

(iii) macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, causing progressive deterioration of sight from loss of central vision leading to total blindness,

(iv) every year, 10 000 Australians are diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, and an estimated 20 000 Australians have macular degeneration that can be attributed to their smoking, and

(v) macular degeneration has already robbed nearly 350 000 Australians over the age of 50 of their eyesight, yet there is still very little understanding of or research into the disease; and

(b) calls on the Government to fund research into this condition, for which there is currently no known cure, and support the Macular Degeneration Foundation Australia's aims to bring dignity, support and education to Australians suffering from this disease.

Question agreed to.