The importance of affordable health care, medical investments and the cost of living have been spotlighted by two new Labor MPs.

South Australian Louise Miller-Frost and West Australian Tracey Roberts gave their first speeches to federal parliament on Wednesday.

Ms Roberts, who won the historically Liberal-held seat of Pearce in May, is a breast cancer survivor.

“I’m acutely aware of the importance of the financial investment in good health services and progressive medical research that saves lives,” she told parliament.

“Without this investment in medical research and services, I would most likely not be here today to experience this moment.”

Meanwhile, Ms Miller-Frost paid tribute to past Labor governments for addressing healthcare affordability.

Her father, who died from cancer when she was 10, was not driven into medical debt as the former Whitlam Labor government founded Medicare. 

“My family did not have to choose whether to go broke giving my dad the best possible chance of surviving,” she said.

“Finances might have been tight when he died but we did not have crippling medical debt pushing us into bankruptcy that we see in so many countries.”

As the first Labor MP for the South Australian seat of Boothby in 73 years, Ms Miller-Frost discussed the rising costs, homelessness and inequality affecting her electorate. 

“Good government establishes the opportunities whereby all of us can flourish individually and as a community, and if it isn’t about the people, if it isn’t about the community, what is it about?” she said. 

Ms Roberts said she would be driven in parliament to support her constituents to live their best possible lives. 

“It is easy for people to be their best when the fabric of our society is strong through advocacy, support and nurturing of families and communities,” she said.

“I will strive to work hard on your behalf, I will listen to you, I will advocate for you.”