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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 9953

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:45): September is Dementia Awareness Month in Australia. Right around the country people are campaigning for better support and greater awareness of this fast-growing disease. In my own electorate of Throsby, in Illawarra, the annual Memory Walk and Jog will be held on 12 October. I will be joining with my good friend and tireless Alzheimer's Australia campaigner, Tom Ward, who will be taking part in support of his wife, Margaret, who is one of the 332,000 sufferers in Australia today.

This morning I also had the honour of welcoming Libby Day and her crew into Canberra as they finished the last leg of their eight-day, 800-kilometre bike ride all the way from Melbourne to raise awareness for dementia research. Dementia is one of the fastest-growing diseases in Australia. Yet, there is not enough known about it and not enough research is going into its prevention and cures. By 2050, there are going to be close to one million people in Australia living with dementia. Right now, it is estimated that 1.2 million Australians are involved in the care of somebody with dementia. Against that background, it is an absolute outrage that the Abbott government has removed the dementia support payment which was supporting these carers. Their priorities are heading in the wrong direction. Dementia and Alzheimer's will touch every Australian over their lifetime either through a family member or personally, themselves. We need to do more to battle this insidious disease. (Time expired)