Senator Cash: [inaudible]… WA Federal Labor and Prime Minister Albanese to today commit to ensuring that the $375 million that was announced by the former Coalition Government and was budgeted for earlier this year, will be committed, to ensure that WA has its own comprehensive cancer centre right here in Perth, quite frankly, is an absolute betrayal of all Western Australians.

There are some things in life that are above politics. And this $375 million that is sitting there – budgeted for Western Australians – to ensure that every family in Western Australia that is touched by cancer has a one stop shop journey – does not have to go over to the Eastern States – and do not have to go overseas to get treatment for their cancer.

The fact that Mr. Albanese and the WA Federal Labor team cannot commit to this funding is a betrayal of all Western Australians.

The WA federal Liberal team, we’re proud to be part of the former Morrison Government that understood that Western Australia was the only state in Australia that did not have in operation or under construction, a comprehensive cancer centre.

We understood the impact that this had on the lives of Western Australians, so many of them fighting cancer, and that is why in the best interests of all Western Australians, in the best interests of their health needs we committed and budgeted for the $375 million.

I, today, call on behalf of all Western Australians, on Mr. Albanese as Prime Minister of this country, and on each one of the members of the WA federal Labor team here in Western Australia to stand up, to put this decision above politics and to commit to honouring the $375 million that is in the budget there for all Western Australians and ensure that for the first time ever, Western Australians have access to a world class, one stop facility, a comprehensive cancer centre here, right here in Western Australia.

Journalist: What do you think the impact is going to be on Western Australians?

Senator Cash: Absolute devastation. When this announcement was made earlier this year, I was overwhelmed by the support from across Western Australia, from people who are both going through that journey, people who have lost loved ones and families, that I received. It is not fair that Western Australians have to travel to the eastern states and in particular, to Victoria or New South Wales, or as it was in my little sister’s case, there was no treatment for her in Australia. She had to travel frequently to the United Kingdom to access treatment for her very rare form of cancer. It is not fair that the $375 million – and let’s be very clear on this, the money is there – this is not new funding for the Albanese Government – the money is there – it is budgeted for, it has been committed – it would be a complete betrayal of all Western Australians if Prime Minister Albanese, if Madeleine King, if Matt Keogh, if Patrick Gorman do not stand up and today, for all Western Australians, say to them we commit to honouring the funding of $375 million for the comprehensive cancer centre here in Western Australia, that was budgeted for by the former Coalition Government.

Journalist: And why do you think this decision has happened?

Senator Cash: That is a very good question. Because in all honesty, it is absolutely beyond belief that today, Western Australians will be thrown into disarray in relation to not knowing if Prime Minister Albanese and the WA federal Labor team will formally honour the $375 million for a comprehensive cancer centre right here in Western Australia.

Some things in life are actually above politics. This is above politics. This is about the health needs of all Western Australians. This is about ensuring that Western Australia is not the only mainland state in Australia that does not have in operation or under construction, a comprehensive cancer centre. This is about saying to all Western Australians who are going through that journey, both them personally, their families and their friends – we understand your needs and that is why we are honouring the funding, the $375 million committed by the former Coalition Government that is sitting there in the budget – because this is something that is in the best interests and the health interests of all Western Australians.

It is beyond belief, quite frankly, that Mr. Albanese and Madeline King, as the only Cabinet Minister here in Western Australia have not come out this morning and said this is not true, we are honouring the former Coalition Government’s commitment.

Journalist: And what do you have to say if they continue down this track and don’t formally commit to actually building?

Senator Cash: Well again, you just need to look at what is happening to Western Australia in the lead up to the budget. The former Coalition Government, here in Western Australia, we had a strong Western Australian team. We fought for the best interests of Western Australians. You just have to look at what we achieved in relation to getting Western Australia its fair share of GST. The announcements that were made earlier this year in relation to the commitments of a former Coalition Government to fund infrastructure here in Western Australia. What have we seen in the lead up to next Tuesday’s Budget under the now Albanese Labor Government? Again, Western Australia no longer matters. If Western Australia is not Victoria, it no longer matters. Western Australia is not New South Wales – it no longer matters. The fact that there is a $9.6 billion infrastructure spend being announced next Tuesday night by the Prime Minister and Western Australia is getting its funding slashed down to just $675 million, 7% of the total infrastructure spend, and Western Australians, that is less than Tasmania is getting, the fact that today we are talking about not committing to a comprehensive cancer centre here in Western Australia with money that is already budgeted for, quite frankly, all Western Australians should understand that Mr. Albanese and WA federal Labor have complete contempt for you, for your infrastructure needs, but more importantly, for your health needs, and that is a very poor sign of things to come for Western Australians.