Australia has defeated tuberculosis but sadly it is still a reality in our regional neighbours, particularly in Papua New Guinea, which impacts on communities in the Torres Strait in my electorate and in Cairns.
But tuberculosis can be managed at home and overseas. The best way for Australia to help achieve this is by investing in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Since 2002 the global fund has supported programs in over 100 countries and has saved 17 million lives and provided tuberculosis testing and treatment for 15 million people, half of these in the Asia-Pacific region.
On 16 September global fund investors will meet in Montreal to pledge to the fund's work for the next three years. The fund is seeking US$13 billion to save another eight million lives.
For every dollar Australia invests the global fund ploughs $15 back into our region, which has 40 per cent of the global TB burden. The global fund's in-country investments stimulate national health systems towards financial self-sustainability.
Numerous investors have already committed to maintain or increase their global fund pledges, including Japan, France, Canada and New Zealand.
I am working closely with my colleagues in this place, on both sides of the House and on the crossbenches, because Australia must also make a strong pledge and do the right thing.
Let us seize the chance and end TB, AIDS and malaria for good.