World Polio Day

Mr ENTSCH: Last month on 24 October was World Polio Day. I’d like to acknowledge the remarkable progress in the fight against polio led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. In nearly four decades, we’ve seen a 99.9 per cent reduction in polio, saving millions from paralysis and eradicating two polio virus strains. Yet challenges…

Private Members’ Business – Great Barrier Reef

Mr ENTSCH: I rise today to speak on this motion. While I stand here amidst a chorus of self-congratulations by those opposite, I must lend a voice to reason and reality. The government has presented a litany of supposed achievements concerning the Great Barrier Reef, yet it seems that their memory is conveniently very, very…

Youth Voice in Parliament Week

Mr ENTSCH: I would like to reach a speech written by a 17-year-old, Darcy Oates, a student from St Augustine’s College in Cairns, as part of the Raise Your Voice campaign. Darcy writes: “The vastness of Australia is ingrained within the fabric of our national identity, romanticised in prose and heralded as the true epitome…

First Nations Australians

Mr ENTSCH: For too long, a select few have laid claim to funding to support Indigenous communities but have not made good on their commitments. The most egregious example is Noel Pearson. He presides over a growing list of dysfunctional entities who have done little but line the pockets of a select few at the…

Cardiac Challenge 2023

Mr ENTSCH: The Cardiac Challenge took place last month, on 16 September. It was a three-day bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown. It’s a mission deeply rooted in personal and community stakes. For Jo Piggott this mission begun at a young age watching her mother battle rheumatic fever, undergo two open-heart surgeries and rely on…

Cairns Airport – Airport of the Year 2023

Mr ENTSCH: Over the weekend, the Cairns Airport received the distinguished title of Airport of the Year for 2023 at the Australian Aviation Awards in Sydney, beating all our capital cities. As many in this chamber know, I’ve often been on my feet here acknowledging the exceptional contributions of the Cairns Airport to our community.…

Medicinal Cannabis

Mr ENTSCH: I stand before you today as a very happy man, both elated and deeply gratified, to be able to inform members in this place that Cairns, a region that I have the honour of representing, is now home to the first medical cannabis dispensary in Far North Queensland, the Wild Leaf Dispensary. Many…

Genetic Testing And Life Insurance

Mr ENTSCH: I want to add my voice to this issue of profound importance. It’s an issue that merges the cutting edge of science of genetics with the fundamental principles of justice, fairness and empathy. The issue of genetic discrimination in life insurance is a dilemma that places Australia at a critical crossroads. The time…

Far North Queensland Emergency Services Ball

Mr ENTSCH: On Saturday evening, the Far North Queensland Emergency Services Association held its annual Emergency Services Charity Gala Ball—an evening not just with glitz and glamour but for purpose and passion. The association was established following a heart-wrenching tragedy at Ravenshoe, in the Atherton Tablelands, back in 2015, when a vehicle unfortunately smashed into…

Indigenous Health – Rheumatic Heart Disease

Mr ENTSCH: The heart is often a symbol of vitality and life, but, in some of our First Nations communities, it represents a significant and preventable challenge. Rheumatic heart disease is an issue that has been virtually eradicated from most of Australia, yet disproportionately it remains a harrowing reality in many of our Indigenous communities.…