House of Assembly: Wednesday, April 10, 2024


World Parkinson's Day

Ms WORTLEY (Torrens) (12:56): I move:

That this house—

(a) recognises that 11 April 2024 is World Parkinson’s Day; and

(b) acknowledges the support provided by Parkinson’s South Australia Incorporated for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders and their families.

In doing so, I would like to say that the Malinauskas government is committed to supporting South Australians living with Parkinson's and other neurological and movement disorders, which is why we have implemented a $2.5 million program over four years provided by Parkinson's South Australia.

This funding has allowed the recruitment of four full-time Parkinson's nurse specialists to better support people living with Parkinson's across both metropolitan and regional South Australia. This investment will have a positive impact on the lives of South Australians living with Parkinson's and other neurological and movement disorders and their families and carers.

During the period November 2023 to February 2024, Parkinson's nurse specialists saw 329 clients, who were made up of 256 clients from the Adelaide metropolitan region and 73 clients from regional South Australia. A total of 17 education sessions were also delivered to local support groups, and online sessions were delivered to aged-care facilities and health professionals living in regional areas.

The support and education provided by Parkinson's South Australia includes providing a better understanding of this condition, how to best manage symptoms and being instrumental in supporting clients to prepare for their neurologist appointments. The commitment made by this government will mean these positive impacts will continue to progress into the future.

Parkinson's is the fastest-growing neurological and movement disorder and, while there have been significant advancements in treatments, sadly there is no cure for this progressive and debilitating illness. With Parkinson's, day-to-day tasks become increasingly difficult, impacting one's overall quality of life.

Aside from the tremors and other movement symptoms that most people associate with Parkinson's, this illness can also impact a person's memory and speech. It can cause fatigue, sleep disturbances and pain, and also lead to poor mental health. Some of these other symptoms are not as visible to others, which is why it is so important that we raise awareness of this illness, to ensure those living with Parkinson's feel less isolated and are more supported when managing their symptoms in the community.

I am pleased to recognise World Parkinson's Day and thank Parkinson's South Australia for their commitment in providing excellence in care and support to people living with Parkinson's and other neurological movement disorders and their families across our state.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (12:59): I am pleased to support the motion. April is Parkinson's Awareness Month and tomorrow, 11 April, is World Parkinson's Day. Each day, up to 50 Australians are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. There are more than 150,000 people in Australia with Parkinson's and another one million affected by it. I seek leave to continue my remarks.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 13:00 to 14:00.