Topics: $10 million for research into precision medicines; Stirling; Labor’s tax policy
It’s great to be here with Ben Morton and Andrew Hastie and Steve Irons.
Today’s a great day for WA. Today’s a great day for Australia. And potentially, it’s a great day for the world.
The Australian National Phenomic Centre is about saving lives and protecting lives; it’s about taking the science of our own individual DNA and twinning it with the science of the environment impacts on our lives.
What it means is better diagnoses and better treatment for people with cancer, people with cardiovascular conditions, people with diabetes, people with Alzheimer’s, and for mums with bubs in utero.
So, nothing could be more important than helping people change the conditions and the environment to help improve their health.
It wouldn’t happen without these guys and without Ken. They’ve advocated for it, they’ve made the case clear, and then the scientists and the MRFF have backed it up.
So, it’s a real privilege to be here and happy to take any questions.
How will the centre work and what will its relationship be with the money that’s been announced in Canberra today?
So, there are two announcements today.
So, all up a $20 million investment in phenomics, an East Coast centre and a West Coast centre – this West Coast centre will bring together five universities, so the best and the brightest, and indeed WA has been recruiting some of the world’s leading phenomic researchers and scientists.
What does it mean? It means that at the end of the day, for somebody with a heart condition or diabetes or cancer or Alzheimer’s, they have a better chance at better treatment and a better chance for a cure, and they’ll be cooperating with the ANU Centre for which similar funding has been announced today.
How soon will we see tailored medicines? You know – mums and dads out there will be going: well, when am I going to see a tailor-made pill for me?
We’re already seeing tailored medicines – I met a young West Australian dad very recently, Hussan he had been part of a national genomics cancer program trial where precision medicine was tailored for him off the basis of the DNA of his tumour.
And he’d been given a few months to live. He’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s got a long future ahead of him.
And he’s a dad, has a number of beautiful kids, and he said: without that tailored precision medicine, which is happening right now but which we seek to expand to the whole population, he wouldn’t be here.
So, the more investment like this, the more lives like Hussan’s can be saved and protected.
You made mention of autism as well – so, do you think that this could help not only in preventing- help creating medicines tailor-made for people, but better understanding the causes of something like autism?
So, Professor Nicholson said to me that was more about the chronic conditions that come with autism, because somebody with autism on average has a shorter lifespan because they develop so many more chronic conditions.
So, it’s how to deal with the chronic conditions.
Can I ask some other questions?
Can I ask you your reaction – corporate lawyer Joanne Quinn has Liberal Party backing to run for Michael Keenan’s seat.
Do you support her?
Oh look, I think in a team of Western Australians, I’ll let the West Australians settle the pre-selection.
I understand there are some outstanding candidates, but I don’t know many of them so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to intervene. But I’m told that there will be an outstanding result.
Tim Wilson has been accused of having a conflict of interest – does he and should he stand down as the chair of the Parliament’s Economics Committee?
I think Tim’s doing an amazing job. What’s happening here is Labor is beginning to see their retirees tax exposed as a savage, savage financial hit on older Australians.
We know that over 900,000 older Australians will be hit in their savings, and I know in Steve’s area, in Ben’s area, in Andrew’s area, senior Australians are increasingly aware that their savings, their ability to manage their own retirement, is being deeply threatened by Bill Shorten’s retirees tax.
And so Labor, they’re finally aware that their retirees tax is going to have a massive hit on the public, but they’re not willing to do anything about it.
I don’t know if Andrew or Steve or Ben want to say something about the retiree tax, because that’s what this is about – Labor is on the run over a retirees tax which is an assault on the financial health of senior Australians.
I think the Minister’s put it perfectly, and more recently as more information comes to light about Bill Shorten’s retiree tax, the franking credit tax, the more people, particularly in my electorate, which has an aged population, they’re getting very concerned (inaudible) exactly what Minister Hunt has said, it’s starting to strike fear into the hearts of retirees in Australia.
Yeah, it’s the same in Canning – I’ve got about 5000 people who will be directly affected, and then their families.
And of course, all the small businesses will lose their discretionary spending, which of course is made possible by their superannuation or their investment.
So, this is going to hurt a lot of people, and that’s why we oppose it stridently.
Last question, guys.
This leaked audio, though, is not helping your cause, though, is it?
Look, what we see here is Labor is now aware that the retiree tax is going to hurt senior Australians and they’re afraid of the fact that senior Australians are now also aware that this retiree tax is an assault on them.
Thanks very much.