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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1762..

Niki started riding again in 2004 at her local Riding for the Disabled Association centre at Pegasus. Under the tuition of an expert coach, Mr Max Pearce, she has rapidly gained skills, leading to her selection for the World Para-Equestrian Driving Championships. Niki is relying on sponsorships and funding appeals to raise $50,000 by mid-June for her and her support team to compete in the six-week campaign.

Lions Youth Haven have taken up Niki's cause by rallying the support of Lions clubs in the Canberra region to give financial support and to start a public appeal for this remarkably determined young Canberra woman, whose courage in performing at such a high level against adversity is an inspiration to all. For more information, people can go to the Lions Youth Haven website at And Niki has a Facebook page.

Today is World Asthma Day. To coincide with the day, National Asthma Council Australia is calling for people with asthma to regularly use their preventative medication following revelations of an alarming overuse of reliever inhalers amongst Australians with asthma. Many Australians with asthma are putting their lives at risk by failing to use their prescribed preventer medication and are relying instead on their asthma reliever puffers.

The council's concerns are in line with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Asthma in Australia report, which found a high frequency of dispensing reliever medication in the Australian community. The National Asthma Council Australia director, Dr Jonathan Burdon, warned that people who use their reliever medication more than two to three days a week are at the greatest risk of a severe asthma attack, which can be life threatening.

Dr Burdon has noted that preventer medication should be used daily to ensure that people no longer suffer asthma symptoms. Dr Burdon attributes Australians' reluctance to use asthma preventers as prescribed to a combination of complacency and confusion. There is also confusion surrounding the use of corticosteroids in asthma treatment, with people wrongly associating this critical asthma medication with anabolic steroids. Dr Burdon noted that educating people will overcome these fears. Dr Burdon acknowledged that asthma management has improved enormously over the past 20 years. He believes that more needs to be done as the mortality rate is too high considering most asthma-related deaths are preventable.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.58 pm.

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