Labor MP highlights affordable healthcare

The importance of affordable healthcare, medical investments and the cost of living were highlighted by two new Labor MPs.

South Australian Louise Miller-Frost and West Australian Tracey Roberts made their first speeches to the Federal Parliament on Wednesday.

Ms Roberts, who won the historic Liberal seat of Pearce in May, is a breast cancer survivor.

“I am acutely aware of the importance of financial investment in good health services and in progressive medical research that saves lives,” she told parliament.

“Without this investment in research and medical services, I probably wouldn’t be here today to experience this moment.”

Meanwhile, Ms Miller-Frost paid tribute to former Labor governments for addressing healthcare affordability.

Her father, who died of cancer aged 10, did not incur medical debt when the former Labor government in Whitlam founded Medicare.

“My family didn’t have to choose to go bankrupt, giving my father the best chance of survival,” she said.

“Finances may have been tight when he died, but we didn’t have crippling medical debt pushing us into bankruptcy like we see in so many countries.”

As the first Labor MP for the South Australian seat of Boothby in 73 years, Ms Miller-Frost spoke of rising costs, homelessness and inequality affecting her electorate.

“Good government creates the opportunities through which we can all thrive individually and as a community, and if it’s not about the people, if it’s not about the community, what is it -he?” she says.

Ms Roberts said she would be pushed in Parliament to help her constituents live the best life possible.

“It’s easy for people to perform at their best when the fabric of our society is strong through the advocacy, support and education of families and communities,” she said.

“I will strive to work hard on your behalf, I will listen to you, I will advocate for you.”

Robert M. Larson