Biaggio Signorelli Foundation receives $100,000 from NSW Government



Friday 23 July 2010

Premier Kristina Keneally tonight announced a $100,000 NSW Government grant for the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation – an organisation to support people suffering from mesothelioma – the cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

The Premier made the announcement at the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation gala dinner, which was established by Biaggio Signorelli’s children following his death from mesothelioma in 2008.

Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world.

In NSW, 243 new cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed in 2009 and 202 people died from the disease.

However, incidence rates of the disease are not expected to peak in Australia until 2017.

The $100,000 NSW Government grant will assist the Foundation raise awareness of mesothelioma and work towards a cure for the disease.

The Foundation is also a stakeholder in the Australian Mesothelioma Registry, which Ms Keneally opened with Prime Minister Julia Gillard earlier this year at the Bernie Banton centre in Sydney.

The Registry is managed by the NSW Government’s Cancer Institute and collects detailed information about mesothelioma in Australia and contributes to international policy debate on the global banning of all forms of asbestos.

“Along with the Australian Mesothelioma Registry, the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation conducts invaluable work in the area of asbestos related diseases,” Ms Keneally said.

“The $100,000 NSW Government grant will support the Biaggio Signorelli Foundation’s efforts to help people affected by mesothelioma and work towards a cure for this devastating disease.

“I congratulate the children of Biaggio Signorelli for honouring his legacy with this Foundation to support those affected by asbestos related diseases and I thank the Foundation for its commitment to this important cause.”

• Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the chest or abdomen and exposure to asbestos fibres is the primary cause.
• Survival rates of people with mesothelioma are very poor, with only 5 per cent of patients alive five years after a diagnosis.