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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 1893..


MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Minister for Health, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability and Community Services, Minister for Women) (5.47): I have come quite late in the day to this piece of legislation—about 15 minutes ago. From my discussions with Minister Corbell, I understand that government support for it related to creating capacity for family members and/or others to be involved in cases where decisions around a person's property needed to be made. It was not about watering down the role of the public trustee. Our amendments try to maintain a balance but create capacity for family to be involved. That represents the extent of the government's support for this bill. As Mr Stefaniak said, if it does not work as it is intended to, it can always be amended down the track.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Adjournment

Motion by (Ms Gallagher ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Health—depression

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (5.48): This evening I rise to make a few comments about the illness we know as depression, some further points in relation to a fairly scary drug, and the struggle that one of our former colleagues has endured as a result.

According to the beyondblue website, depression is not simply normal sadness, being moody or just in a low mood, but a serious illness. It yields both physical and psychological symptoms. It is common. Up to one in four females and one in six males will experience depression in their lifetime. Members will recall that Mr Corbell suffered from depression a couple of years ago. Mr Corbell, with great courage, used his own situation to raise public awareness of depression as a very real and debilitating illness. Depression is often not recognised or treated, and it is the leading cause of suicide.

The beyondblue website goes on to say that most people assume that depression is simply caused by recent personal difficulties. However, it is often caused by a mix of recent events and other personal factors. There can even be a genetic factor in contracting depression. Of considerable concern is that there is a lack of understanding in relation to the medication that is sometimes prescribed for people suffering from depression.

One symptom of depression is sleeplessness, which is often treated by a drug called Zolpidem. Some 1.2 million scripts for this drug were dispensed in Australia in 2006. The second most common brand of Zolpidem is Stilnox. But Zolpidem carries with it


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