Palliative Care Services - Petition

1st June 2017

Mr GREG PIPER ( Lake Macquarie ) ( 16:50 :38 ): By leave: I make a contribution to the discussion on the petition signed by 10,000 or more persons tabled on behalf of the people of Orange and the greater district by the member for Orange, who is in the Chamber. Minister for Health Brad Hazzard and his Parliamentary Secretary, the member for Port Macquarie, both spoke in this discussion. I believe the member for Port Macquarie is oversighting a series of roundtable conversations that it is hoped will lead to improved palliative care services throughout New South Wales. I will not reflect too much about this issue as it related to Lake Macquarie other than to say that we all share one thing in common. We will all personally and as a community confront the matter of our death. I have dealt with death both in my former profession as a nurse as well as in my family.

A number of deaths have occurred in unsatisfactory situations and they will stay with my family and I for a long time. We must do more to ease that burden at a very important time, the end of life. We must ensure that people in the end stage of life are dealt with sensitively and have a dignified death. Although Orange is far away it is not remote. With a population of approximately 40,000 it certainly does not have an insignificant population. It is an important rural and mining area—the kind of place we want people to move to in order to take the burden off our cities. We cannot ask people to move to regional areas if we do not provide this type of basic service that is so important to them and their families. I am happy to support the petition to improve palliative care services in Orange. I am sure Government members would support it also. We have to step up and commit the funds, because this is about funding. I call on the Government to support this call from the people of Orange for better palliative care services.

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