Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2086..
The Assembly voted-
Ayes 6 Noes 11 Mrs Burke Mr Berry Ms MacDonald Mr Cornwell Mr Corbell Mr Quinlan Mrs Dunne Mrs Cross Mr Stanhope Mr Pratt Ms Dundas Ms Tucker Mr Smyth Ms Gallagher Mr Wood Mr Stefaniak Mr Hargreaves
Question so resolved in the negative.
Fireworks in the ACT
Mrs Cross, in accordance with standing order 128, fixed the next day of sitting as the time for the moving of this motion.
Umbilical cord blood donations
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (9.24): I move:
That this Assembly:
acknowledges that umbilical cord blood is an important component of cancer research and donation of such blood could assist many cancer sufferers in the ACT and abroad;
calls on the Minister for Health to investigate and if feasible implement an umbilical cord blood collection and storage facility in Canberra;
report to the Assembly by the end of the last sitting day in December 2003.
I rise in this place to discuss an important matter, one that if addressed could save lives-not just in Canberra but across the nation. People suffering with cancer, particularly young children and teenagers, have a greater chance of survival or of recovery if they use umbilical cord blood.
Until the 1960s, cancer was generally a fatal condition in children. Since that time, thankfully, the overall survival rate has risen to about 70 per cent. With the use of umbilical cord blood, that percentage stands to be raised significantly. Today I am seeking the support of my Assembly colleagues to call on the government to investigate the possibility of Canberra having its own umbilical cord blood collection site. Currently, there is nowhere in the ACT that this can occur. The only sites where umbilical cord blood can be donated by a mother are in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Researching for this motion today, I have read some heart-wrenching stories-parents who have been given a second shot at life with their child due to saving umbilical cord blood. If members allow me, I would like to talk about a few of those cases right now. I will start with one I have taken from the United States cord blood registry website. That seems to be the site that is achieving the most around the world.