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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4197

Mr COULTON (ParkesThe Nationals Chief Whip) (13:58): I rise to lend my support for a cancer centre for western New South Wales, located at Dubbo. There is a need for an integrated cancer centre, for both diagnosis and treatment, for the over 200,000 people who live in western New South Wales. At the moment, those people have to travel to Sydney to have a PET scan for early diagnosis. In this day and age, the life expectancy of people in my electorate is eight years less than it is for people in the rest of Australia, and we need to do something to turn that around.

This area in western New South Wales covers communities such as Bourke, Brewarrina and Walgett, and many of those people will not travel to the city and are choosing an early death rather than seek the treatment that they need. I would like to congratulate the group in Dubbo who started up a Facebook page. They now have 19,000 followers calling for a cancer centre in Dubbo. On the weekend, when I was at the Dubbo Show, countless people told me about their experiences of seeking treatment, the weeks away from home seeking radiation, the costs of accommodation and the time away from their children and families. In this day and age it is equitable that the people of western New South Wales have the same facilities as everyone else. (Time expired)