Di Farmer's Speech

di_farmerMsFARMER (Bulimba-AlP)

The Bligh government is committed to making Queenslanders Australia's wealthiest people.  Through the Toward Q2 targets the government will work towards having the shortest hospital waiting times in Australia and cutting obesity, smoking, heavy drinking and unsafe sun exposure by one third. The government is already making significant progress on these targets. In the year since they were set, emergency waiting times in Queensland have moved from sixth in Australia to third, and our elective surgery waitlng times are now the best in Australia.

The government has an aggressive program to address chronic disease with excellent initiatives to encourage healthy communities, protect children from harmful smoking and encourage Queenslanders to be active.

There is another chronic disease that is lesser known than the main offenders but causes significant pain and anguish to Queenstanders. Scleroderma affects over 5,000 Australians. lt is painful and debilitating and can cause death. It can start as a streak or line of hardened waxy skin on an arm or leg or on the forehead. It can extend over the body and can involve deeper layers of the skin and sometimes restrict the movement of the joints that lie underneath. The hardening can extend to affect major organs, causing them to become hard and fibrous and to function less efficiently. No-one knows what causes it and it is complex to study because of its variable nature, prolonged course and the relatively small number of persons affected by it. Therefore, one's doctor may often make decisions about treatment based on incomplete information.

The Scleroderma Association of Queensland Inc. is a remarkable association that, despite the significant problems in researching and managing the disease, is finding solutions and providing support to scteroderma sufferers. I especially mention Colin Breeze, the association's president, and Vicky Snow, its secretary. Neither suffers from Scleroderma but both devote a huge number of hours to their mission. Vicky and her husband Alan are already active community members in the Bulimba electorate and I thank them for that. They are two of the kindest and most hardworking people l have met. I am proud to say that the Scleroderma Association of Queensland is supported by Queensland Health and also that I have been asked to be its patron. l commend the association to all members and encourage all to become aware of this disease.

 

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Please note: The new phone number for the Scleroderma Association of Queensland is 07 32773460. Our postal has changed too; it is PO Box 316, SALISBURY Qld. 4107. The new physical address of our office is 124A Evans Road Salisbury. If you would like to come and browse through some books in our library or have a chat or help, please visit on Wednesday between 9:30 and 12 midday.