Cancer campaigner backs Labor pledge

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Federal Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten.
Camera IconFederal Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten. Credit: Mogens Johansen

A Denmark campaigner has welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s “fantastic” pledge to cut costs for cancer treatment.

Mary Williams, who successfully pushed for years for funding for a cancer treatment facility in Albany, welcomed Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s announcement of $2.3 billion for cancer treatment in his budget reply last week.

“Anything that improves the quality of (life) with our cancer patients is very, very welcome,” she said.

“I have no political side, however, I am more than happy if... (political parties) want to come on board and give us help for our cancer patients.

“It would be absolutely wonderful.”

The Federal and State Governments have already pledged $6.6 million and $13.1 million respectively to build a cancer ward in Albany.

The Opposition leader, pictured, whose mother lived with breast cancer, said cancer was “frightening, it’s isolating, it’s exhausting” for the 145,000 Australians diagnosed with it each year.

He called the plan “the most significant investment in Medicare in a generation”.

A quarter of women diagnosed with breast cancer paid more than $10,000 for two years of scans, while prostate cancer sufferers forked out more than $18,000, he said.

“All those vital scans and tests and consultations with specialists aren’t fully covered by Medicare,” he said.

“They cost hundreds of dollars, adding up to thousands, out of your own pocket.”

Under the plan MRIs would also be covered.

Mr Shorten also pledged to increase tax cuts for those earning $45,000 or less and allocate $200 million to renovating TAFE campuses, if Labor wins the election.

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