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Ms Jones and her partner have been offered urine tests to establish what level of arsenic might be present in their bodies. In light of her concerns, ACT Health and Community Care also arranged for analysis of placental tissue following her most recent miscarriage. I am advised by the ACT’s Chief Health Officer that arsenic levels detected in curette tissue were at the limit of detection using current methodology; that is, 0.04 milligrams per kilogram. This compares with normal tissue, such as lungs at 0.085 milligrams per kilogram and liver at 0.092 milligrams per kilogram; in other words, a level of arsenic in the tissue which is not above anybody's level of arsenic that we would all expect in our everyday lives.

The Government has been providing free counselling to Ms Jones and funding her discussions with Professor Moore and Dr Stewart. However, I must say that, in light of her concerns expressed on television last night, I am very happy to offer her a full medical examination. I do want to say that I am prepared to offer her anything at all to give her peace of mind and reassurance in this situation. I would also be very happy to examine any of the other evidence which the Prime story claimed Ms Jones has but which has not yet been provided to my department or, indeed, to my predecessor, Mr Wood. The Government has been prepared to examine on its merits any case where people claim to have suffered a demonstrable impact from sheep dips. We have also shown good faith by our willingness to resolve individual cases and to follow up residents' concerns promptly.

Mr Speaker, we are concerned about such claims. We will follow them through appropriately and fully. I hope that that is the result of the inquiry that Mr Moore is currently doing into this area. But I think we should be very careful and, in particular, the media people should be very careful about giving credence to claims which, arguably, have no basis in scientific merit.

Mr Connolly: You should also be careful about quoting people’s medical figures on the phone.

MR HUMPHRIES: I have checked that already. There is no problem with the Privacy Act.

Australian Stock Exchange

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mrs Carnell. Mrs Carnell, why was it possible for you, in 24 hours, to conclude an agreement with the Commonwealth Government in relation to the Acton-Kingston land swap but not possible, over several weeks, to reach an agreement with the Australian Stock Exchange? If, as you have said in answer to earlier questions, the Australian Stock Exchange had not presented the ACT Government with the proposal, why did the ACT Government not develop its own proposal and put it to the Stock Exchange, as the Queensland Government obviously did?

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