Warren 'Woz' Acott

Monday, 25 March 2024

Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (13:41): I rise today to speak about an incredible Australian man named Warren 'Woz' Acott. Woz has been a truck driver for about 40 years in rural Victoria, but last year, aged 66, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Motor neurone disease, as I've spoken about many times, is a neurological disease. The nerves become damaged and start to die. In the majority of cases the cause of MND is unknown. There is currently no cure, and life expectancy is approximately two to three years from diagnosis. I am advised prevalence is increasing.

Not content to sit around, Woz got on his ride-on lawnmower and rode 800 kilometres from Toolleen, Victoria, all the way to Parliament House up the front lawn to raise awareness for people suffering with MND across Australia. It was a real privilege to welcome Woz last week as he crossed the finish line in front of his family, friends, locals, people living with MND and their carers on the front lawns of parliament. And I want to thank Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for meeting with Woz, his carers and other people living with MND and putting his support behind this great cause.

I am co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of MND, along with Senator Carol Brown, and we are fighting to improve the lives of people with MND and to listen to the community about making MND a notifiable disease. There's a petition going at the moment. I'd encourage each and every one of you to get behind this important cause out there in Australia. I want to thank Woz and his family in particular for his determination, strength and sheer guts riding a lawnmower 800 kilometres with MND. Thank you, Woz, for everything you have done.