Mr RAMSEY (Grey–Government Whip) (13:37): I am currently the co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes-I often say that I’m actually the chair of the enemies of diabetes. We are holding a number of events in the House this week, including announcements today-which I was pleased to attend-by the beverage industry that they are committing to reducing sugar content in beverages by 20 per cent by 2025.
I often remind people that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation and coronary heart disease and a major cause of chronic kidney disease. It really is not a good thing to have. It really isn’t. It is estimated that 1.7 million Australians have type 2 diabetes and, very concerningly, 500,000 of these are undiagnosed and unaware that they have the disease and may have had it for anything up to seven years. It’s dangerous and they need to get it checked out.
On Wednesday we’ll be conducting a free HbA1c blood test in the Senate alcove from 8 am. To members I say: get tested and make your encounter public by putting it onto your social media platforms. Members may find their tests find them healthy, and I certainly hope that is the case, but, if they publicise their test and encourage others to engage, they may well save a life anyway