The Albanese Government has been forced into an embarrassing backdown and has today agreed to honour the former Morrison Government’s funding commitment of $375 million for the WA Comprehensive Cancer Centre. To not have done so would have been a complete betrayal of the health needs of all Western Australians.
It was only after pressure from the Coalition and the WA Federal Liberal Team, and the West Australian newspaper, that Mr Albanese was finally dragged kicking and screaming to back the funding of the Centre.
Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash said, “Mr Albanese and his Government could have saved the people of Western Australia a lot of concern and angst by assuring this funding from the outset.”
In Government, the Coalition announced and budgeted $375 million to deliver a new landmark Western Australia Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Perth.
Our budgeted investment was made to transform the care and support available to Western Australians diagnosed with cancer.
Western Australian hospitals see 158,000 cancer-related hospital admissions each year, accounting for more than 14 per cent of the state’s hospitalisations.
The proposed Centre will include 10 operating theatres, intensive care units, hundreds of overnight rooms and onsite cancer research to support Western Australians and their families through their cancer treatment.
“The fact that Mr Albanese and the WA Federal Labor team had to be dragged to a commitment of this funding is an indictment on their treatment of Western Australians,” Senator Cash said.
“The former Coalition Government has long understood that Western Australia was the only state in Australia that did not have a comprehensive cancer centre currently in operation or under construction,” Senator Cash said.
“Labor matched our $77 million commitment to establish a Comprehensive Cancer Centre in South Australia, which is expected to see 2,000 cancer cases each year prevented, diagnosed early and treated more effectively in South Australia, as well as assisting patients from the Northern Territory,” Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care Anne Ruston said.
“They also matched the Coalition’s commitment to establish a landmark Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Queensland to provide world-class cancer care for Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer and their families,” Shadow Minister Ruston said.
“Facing pressure from the Opposition, Mr Albanese has now had to make a haste announcement to prove he has not forgotten Western Australia.”
Now, he must ensure Labor Premier McGowan also understands the importance of a comprehensive cancer centre being based in Western Australia.
How does the premier think it is fair to force 50,000 Western Australians each year to consider travelling to the east coast of Australia to fight their cancer battle?