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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3475..


MR MOORE (continuing):

The Government acknowledges that prostate cancer is an issue of high importance in men's health, and has highlighted this area for priority program development in its ACT cancer services plan. It is proposed that a seamless service program be developed to address the issue of prostate cancer, encompassing services from prevention to palliative care. It is proposed that the highly successful women's breast cancer care model will be used as a starting point for the development of this program. The Government has taken very seriously the recommendation of the committee, even though we have not been able to agree on the particular approach.

Prostalk, a community support group of men with prostate cancer, has been involved in the negotiation and development of this program. The report's recommendation regarding sleep apnoea and its treatment by the acquisition of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines is also not supported by the Government, due to its inconsistency with current medical best practice.

The first line of treatment of sleep apnoea is to encourage sufferers to deal with the underlying condition, which is usually obesity. Other less costly and less complex methods of treatments form the second line of treatment, such as tongue and nasal clips. The use of continuous positive airway pressure machines is considered a last resort. Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the standing committee for its report on this matter. As I am sure members will agree, substantive work on the issue of men's health is long overdue in the ACT, and I think that most of us would recognise that there is still more work to be done. I commend the Government's response to the Assembly.

MR WOOD (4.00): Mr Speaker, I will respond quickly. I thank the Minister for his response. I express my disappointment, not to him, but to the national authorities on the policy stance they have taken in respect to prostate cancer. Earlier we had some inside information that led us to believe that there would be support for national screening. Subsequently that has not eventuated, so Mr Moore had no other option. It is an area that we should all continue to work through with considerable energy, and I also look forward to the implementation of the MAN model in the ACT and we might be able to track down the details of that.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

HERITAGE - NGUN(N)AWAL TO NASA

Ministerial Statement and Paper

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (4.01): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on heritage.

Leave granted.

Mr Speaker, contrary to what most Australians think, the history of Canberra did not begin with the opening of the interim Parliament House in 1927. Nor with the selection of the site for the national capital in 1908. Nor with the arrival of the first European settlers in this region in 1820. Long before all of these events - important and significant


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