Residents in the Northern Rivers have been set the challenge of raising money to help buy a new PET/CT Scanner, a cancer detection machine regarded as one of the best in the world.

One PET/CT machine costs approximately $5 million, Member for Ballina, Don Page said.

“Cancer specialists on the Far North Coast believe one of these machines in our region would save countless lives,” Mr Page said.

“The PET/CT Scanner helps doctors more accurately diagnose and identify cancer, heart disease and brain disorder.

“These machines are found in most capital cities in Australia, but because of the cost there are no machines in regional parts of the country.

“We are hoping to raise enough money to show the State and Federal governments this region is committed to the machine and to secure funding support from them.”

The fundraising campaign is the result of a recent meeting between representatives from State and Federal government, the medical profession and local community groups.

“A fundraising black-tie event will be held at Ballina RSL on 25th October 2008 with the band Soul’d, (a 12-piece swing band) playing, so it will be a great night,” Mr Page said.

Mr Page urged his constituents to put the night in their diary ‘because you’ll be supporting a very good cause and it will be a great night’.

The night will also feature comedienne Mandy Nolan and Isabella Archipela. The food will be by multi-award winning Gerhard Spatz.

“It’s a win-win night for everyone. Great food, great entertainment and a fantastic cause,” Mr Page said.

Tickets are available at Shelly’s On The Beach at East Ballina, La Boutique Gift Shop in River Street, Ballina 6686 2662 or the Community Centre in Byron Bay 6685 5117.