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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 24 September 2015) . . Page.. 3533 ..

and environments for cyclists. The ACT government will continue to look at measures to improve the overall safety of the road network, including the use of devices to warn or advise users of a risk or hazard. I will continue to advocate more generally for greater priority to be given to sustainable transport modes, including cyclists. The recent establishment of the government’s active travel office is one avenue through which this will occur.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Smyth) agreed to:

That leave of absence for today be granted to Mr Doszpot for health reasons.

Hospitals—cancer facilities

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): The Speaker has received letters from Dr Bourke, Mr Doszpot, Ms Fitzharris, Mr Hanson, Mrs Jones, Ms Lawder, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79 the Speaker has determined that the matter determined by Ms Fitzharris be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of having modern cancer facilities for the Canberra region.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (3.38): I am very pleased to speak to this matter of public importance today on the importance of modern cancer facilities in the Canberra region. There would be few families in Canberra untouched by cancer. In 2015 it is estimated that 126,800 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed nationwide and there are up to 1,500 new cases each year among ACT residents. In the ACT the most common cancers for 2005 to 2009 in men were prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma of the skin and lung cancer. And for women over the same period the most common cancers were breast cancer, colorectal cancer, melanoma of the skin and also lung cancer. Sadly, around 500 Canberrans will die of cancer this year and an estimated 46,500 people will die across Australia.

Australians benefit from a high life expectancy. However, it is expected that the incidence of cancer will generally increase with age. It is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with cancer by their 85th birthday will be one in two for men, and one in three for women.

Despite a decline in cancer deaths and an increase in survival over time, cancer is still the second most common cause of death in Australia after cardiovascular disease. It is these statistics that make it essential that we as a government not only provide first-class infrastructure to deliver cancer treatment and care for patients but also encourage preventative measures, contribute to research and, where it is, sadly, required, provide appropriate palliative care.

The Canberra Region Cancer Centre is a project of the health infrastructure program. It was officially opened by the then Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, on 6 August 2014, with clinical services commencing on 18 August 2014.

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