Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Opposition Whip) (13:32): On 14 November, it was World Diabetes Day, and I stand here as one of the co-chairs of the parliamentary enemies of diabetes. As I normally do when I begin these speeches, I say diabetes is the leading cause of coronary heart disease, the leading causes of blindness and the leading cause of amputation—a good thing to avoid if you possibly can. Sadly, many people could avoid it if they took control of their own destiny—not everyone, but many could.
I’m here to report, also very sadly, and disturbingly for me, that my electorate of Grey continues to have the highest incidence of diabetes in the country, and in fact is up from 7.8 per cent of the people in 2017 to 8.6 per cent. That is a diabolical number. That’s 15,470 people in Grey living with diabetes. Of these, only 1,050 have type 1; the rest are type 2.
I have a significant Indigenous population in my electorate, and of course it is in Central Australia, where cases of type 2 diabetes are the absolute highest. So here we are in the electorate with the highest level of diabetes full stop, with a significant part of remote Australia in that number. All I can say to people is: stay in touch with your body, go to the GP, get checked, do the eye checks, do the foot checks, and make sure you know what your body is telling you.