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[Statement by The Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham]: regarding his health situation.



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FEDERAL LABOR LEADER MARK LATHAM

HEALTH SITUATION

The news about my health has not been good. I have been told to rest and not to work - advice I am trying to follow.

Over the past fortnight I have tried to take a total break, do a few simple things with my family and make the best recovery possible. Notwithstanding the obvious difficulties now, on the advice of my doctors and after consultation with colleagues, I will continue with this approach. I have spent this period with my family, including some time at Terrigal, where I was mostly confined to our unit.

Like all Australians I reacted with horror to the unfolding tragedy of the Asian tsunami. I feel great sympathy and grief for the victims. And I have nothing but admiration for the way the Commonwealth Government, the State Governments and the Australian people have responded. Australia’s response to the disaster has been magnificent.

The acting Labor Leaders, Jenny Macklin and Chris Evans, have expressed these sentiments on behalf of all our members, myself included.

So too, Labor expresses its grief and sympathy for the victims of the South Australian bushfires.

But in the circumstances I have been told to stay on leave and not return to work until my leave period ends on 26 January. I ask the media to respect my privacy and that of my family during this period.

JANUARY 13, 2005