Mr RAMSEY (Grey–Government Whip) (16:45): I rise today to speak on the importance of diabetes awareness in Australia. Currently 1.7 million Australians are living with diabetes, a figure which is set to increase to 3½ million in two decades. While we are proud in Australia that we have the highest standards of pathology testing worldwide, diabetes is still the No. 1 health challenge facing the country. Indeed, my electorate of Grey has the highest rate of the disease nationally.
With my co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Diabetes, the member for Moreton, I am pleased to be involved with two significant upcoming events to promote diabetes awareness, in conjunction with Diabetes Australia and Pathology Awareness Australia. This Wednesday, members, senators and staff are invited and encouraged to partake in a complimentary blood test so as to learn about their own diabetes status and possible risk factors. The blood tests will be done right here in Parliament House, in the area that used to be occupied by the parliamentary travel office, starting at 8 am on Wednesday. Be there or be square. It might save your life.
Mr Perrett: Next to Aussie’s.
Mr RAMSEY: That is quite right. Thank you, Member for Moreton. It is vital that we convey this message of prevention clearly, as so many cases could be avoided if the risk factors were known early. Pathology testing is a sophisticated way of detecting risk factors in order to put preventive measures in place. Interestingly, 70 per cent of the wider medical community rely on those tests. Next Tuesday I will also be pleased to hold a research progress event with Juvenile Diabetes Research Association, who have been working hard in the area of type 1 diabetes.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Claydon ): In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members’ statements has concluded.