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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4016..


MR STANHOPE

(continuing):

he would be happy to be part of a group supported by the ACT government and the Canberra community to undertake some work at a hospital in Baghdad. If there is some will and some capacity-I will discuss that with my colleagues after the meeting-I am inclined to support those initiatives.

Over and above that-I will conclude on this note, Mr Speaker-there is that other issue around the war on terror and the extent to which the war on terror, through the manner of its conduct, has within this nation and within our community in Canberra raised issues around the stirring up of bias and bigotry and the scapegoating that is an inevitable part of any war, and the extent to which there has been an inclination to connect all terrorism with Islam.

Of course, all members of the Australia-Iraq Friendship Society are Muslim. They have expressed to me their deep concern at the way in which their faith has been inextricably linked with the war on terror. They feel in their hearts that we as a nation, in much of our conversation and discourse, now automatically equate the term "Islam"with the word "terror". I see it in the reporting in our media. For instance, in Palestine-indeed, throughout the Middle East and in Indonesia-we do not have "Palestinian guerrilla fighters"or "Palestinian freedom fighters"and in Iraq we do not have "guerrillas"; we have "Islamic terrorists".

Mr Stefaniak

: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker. Under standing order 118 (a), the answer to a question shall be concise and confined to the subject matter. The Chief Minister is now wandering around and is not confining it. He is certainly not being concise.

MR STANHOPE

: I will conclude on that point, Mr Speaker. This is an issue. There is an issue in relation to the extent to which Islam and Muslims have been vilified in the war on terror and we need to be on our guard. We need as a community, and we are determined as a government, not to succumb to that and to provide all the support we can to ensure that those divisive trends, possibilities or potentialities do not occur in this community and, to the greatest extent we can, avoid them.

Road-to-wellness kits

MS DUNDAS

: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Minister for Health. I understand that there are road-to-wellness kits explaining outpatient services for people with mental illnesses that are given to patients upon discharge from public hospital psychiatric units. Can you please inform the Assembly whether or not these kits are also provided to carers of people admitted to hospital for treatment of a mental illness?

MR CORBELL

: I will take the question on notice and provide the information to Ms Dundas.

MS DUNDAS

: Could you also then inform the Assembly what is the system in place to ensure that carers do get access to the road-to-wellness kits? Are the kits always available or are they often out of supply?

MR CORBELL

: I will take the question on notice, Mr Speaker.


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