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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 May 2007) . . Page.. 736 ..

Mrs Burke: So that’s all right then, is it?

MR STANHOPE: It is not all right. Any failing by any public service of a duty or obligation, be it the processes or systems in place or rules relating to credit card use, is a serious issue—a very serious issue—and it is a matter of regret and disappointment to me that highly-paid senior public servants cannot get the basics right. It is a matter of enormous regret—but it is not a hanging offence, and the issues and the incidents identified by the Auditor-General were, quite frankly, right at the margins.

I think the bigger sin in relation to this episode is that you, for crass political advantage, have no compunction about seeking to essentially besmirch the reputation of all senior ACT public servants as a group or collective; that you think it is appropriate, without any specific allegation. Come in and ask me the question now about the particular incident that you believe justifies you creating, or attempting to create, a circumstance or an atmosphere of scandal. Name the incident or the case and let us get down to tintacks, rather than this broadscale attempt to besmirch the reputation of the public service.

Health—World Asthma Day

MS MacDONALD: My question is to Ms Gallagher in her capacity as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health. Minister, as you would be aware, today is World Asthma Day. Could you update the Assembly on the prevalence of asthma in our community and measures being taken to reduce and control it?

MS GALLAGHER: Today is World Asthma Day, and this morning the Chief Minister launched the day in Canberra with the Asthma Foundation at Fraser primary school. It is an annual event designed to improve asthma awareness in the community. In 2007 the theme for the day is ‘you can control your asthma’. This theme reflects the importance of ensuring that children with asthma are able to control their disease.

People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs. When exposed to certain triggers, their airways narrow, making it hard for them to breathe. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled so that sufferers are able to carry out daily activities without symptoms. With proper management, the vast majority of patients can control their asthma.

Asthma is one of the most common reasons children are admitted to hospital. That is why it is so important that we ensure that community awareness of asthma is high, particularly within our school communities. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Asthma Foundation of the ACT in organising events for World Asthma Day and all their efforts to raise asthma awareness in the community and provide support to people with asthma in the ACT.

One particularly important activity of the foundation is its work with the asthma-friendly schools program. This is a national program that aims to have all schools accredited as asthma friendly. An asthma-friendly school supports the whole community in understanding and managing asthma; contributes to the development of a safer, healthier and more supportive school environment for people with asthma;

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