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Thursday, 21 June 2012
Page: 7488

Mr JENKINS (Scullin) (13:58): Today, Thursday, 21 June 2012, I rise to speak on Motor Neurone Disease Global Awareness Day to show my support for those who are sufferers and the families of sufferers and to seek the support of the parliament to look for treatments and cures for this insidious disease. I pay tribute to the member for Griffith for his earlier contribution and I pay tribute to the member for Mitchell for encouraging us to get onside.

Many may not know that my father was a sufferer of one of the ALS/MND family of diseases. He had it for two decades, which is a bit different to the experience of most. Unfortunately, my good friend and ex-parliamentary colleague the former member for McEwen, Peter Cleeland, was an MND sufferer. He had a very insidious, short version of MND and it was sad to see him not being able to have a full retirement.

Many would know of my great misspeakings and faux pas. I remember very much a function where we celebrated Peter's contribution to public life. He was very nervous and, as one usually does in such circumstances, I said, 'Take a deep breath.' Peter's response was, 'I can't.' I think that it really came home to me that, when you are dealing with people who suffer from such a disease, they really do need support and their families need such support.