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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 832..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

panting for in anticipation-in relation to each of them. I am more than happy to do that.

Cabinet solidarity

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. In the past year, Mr Corbell, Ms Gallagher and Mr Hargreaves have all breached cabinet solidarity, which is a key point of your ministerial code of conduct. You have taken no action against any of these ministers. Chief Minister, why have you failed to take any disciplinary action against ministers who have breached cabinet solidarity and your code of conduct?

MR STANHOPE: I do not accept the truth of the assertions contained in the question, Mr Speaker. It is one of those questions that are loaded and are not factual. To that extent, I will not and cannot answer it.

MRS BURKE: I thank the Chief Minister for the non-answer. Again I ask: Chief Minister, what actions have you taken to ensure that ministers comply with your code of conduct?

MR SPEAKER: I think the question has been answered.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, I have answered the question, Mr Speaker.

Health-HPV cervical cancer vaccine

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health. Minister, I understand that today you launched the HPV cervical cancer vaccine in the ACT. Could you update the Assembly on this launch?

MS GALLAGHER: Earlier today, in conjunction with Senator Gary Humphries, I launched the ACT human papillomavirus vaccination program across ACT secondary schools, both government and non-government. This program is being funded by the commonwealth government. They should be commended for it. The cost is between $8 million and $9 million for the ACT alone. It is also being funded across the country. It protects young women from human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer. It is certainly a major contributor worldwide of cancer mortality in women.

Each year around 800 Australian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 270 die from it. The new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer within a generation and save hundreds of lives. The ACT government was delighted that the commonwealth government did the sensible thing last year and reversed its original decision not to fund the vaccine. Credit should go to them for fast-tracking the introduction of this program.

HPV is the name for a group of viruses that cause skin warts, genital warts and some cancers. HPV is very common, with four or five people having genital HPV at some point in their lives. Whilst most infections do not cause any symptoms, some high risk types of HPV can cause cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer over a 10 to 30-year period.


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