April 7, 2011  |  Member's Statement

Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre: funding

I rise this morning to congratulate the Ivanhoe community on its hard-fought campaign to secure the final $45 million in funding for the Olivia Newton-John cancer centre at the Austin Hospital. A very strong campaign was run to secure these funds, including petitions with over 3000 signatures received at my office. The campaign was fought hard by the local community to ensure that the centre received that extra $45 million from a government — —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The member for Caulfield!

Mr CARBINES — Every time the Liberal Party has come into government its members have wanted to blow over the Austin Hospital. When last in government they wanted to flog it off — to privatise it — and it was the Labor Party, with its re-elected member in Ivanhoe, that made sure we not only secured the future for the Austin Hospital but built two new hospitals on one site: the Austin and the Mercy.

It was a Labor government that committed to and started to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, and what happened? We have had to fight hard to get that $45 million to complete that centre. I know, and the community knows, that cancer affects one in three Victorians, and sadly 10 000 Victorians die from cancer each year. An article in the Heidelberg Leader states:

If funding to complete the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre is anything like new state Health Minister David Davis, then patients will be waiting for a long time.

That is what the local paper said until we started to fight a local campaign to secure the funds to complete the centre. I look forward to working with the Ivanhoe community to secure funds for other commitments in the Ivanhoe electorate on which this government drags its heels to support and to fund. We will continue to fight in Ivanhoe for our fair share.