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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2907

Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (13:44): On the weekend I was privileged to represent the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley, at the opening of the country's newest and biggest Ronald McDonald House, in Brisbane. It was an honour to join His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Ronald McDonald House CEO, Christopher Macaulay, and chairman, Adam Dando. Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families. It follows the simple idea that families should not be spending days, weeks or months sleeping in waiting rooms and hospital hallways while a sick child receives treatment. The stories of some of those sick kids are truly heartbreaking. I was very proud to represent a government that committed $5.3 million to this important project.

The project was kickstarted several years ago when the then LNP state government donated the land, which is perfectly located next to the Mater Lady Cilento medical precinct. The 70-room facility has basically been full since it opened, reflecting the huge community need for these facilities. The facility can be expanded by an extra 42 rooms if additional funds can be raised, and I will certainly be doing what I can, including encouraging our state colleagues in the Queensland government to consider making a funding commitment to this very worthy cause. In addition to this government's $5 million contribution, I would also like to thank other major donors, including the Ronald McDonald House charities, all of the South-East Queensland McDonald's licensees—including those I met on the weekend—and so many other corporate, community and individual donors.