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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1523 ..


Motion (by Mr Humphries) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Chief Minister - Attack on Staff Member

MR KAINE (6.28): Mr Speaker, after question time today, the Chief Minister made an unjustified, unsubstantiated attack on an Assembly staff member. Such an attack, I think everybody will agree, is unconscionable and despicable since such people are in no position to defend themselves against such an attack made under privilege. I am well aware that a continuing, orchestrated campaign of denigration has been conducted against, in fact, both myself and my staffer over an extended period of time both here and elsewhere. I am also aware of from where and by whom that campaign is being directed. That the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister should allow themselves to become part of that campaign under privilege is reprehensible to say the least. It is within the power of the Chief Minister to ensure this activity ceases once and for all. As a beginning, and as an expression of her good intent, I invite the Chief Minister to apologise unreservedly to my staffer for her intemperate, perhaps hasty attack.

Viagra - Approval in Australia

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (6.29): I have to tell members of the Assembly that things are looking up. I think that we have the opportunity now for members to stiffen their spine and get on with it. As I let you know about this, I do not want there to be any rush of blood to the head. Mr Speaker, today the Hon. Dr Michael Wooldridge, the Minister for Health and Family Services, announced that a new drug will be approved for sale in Australia. I was at a conference this morning when Dr Wooldridge announced this prior to his press conference. Viagra, Mr Speaker, is the drug that is now available in Australia. It is a new drug for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in males. It is undergoing further clinical trials in Australia and overseas for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction.

Mr Speaker, although we have long weeks in this Assembly and sometimes things seem too hard, it is possible for us to retain some sense of humour, and I believe that is the case. We may well want to take this seriously. Before I finish I refer to Dr Wooldridge's press release. One of the reasons a decision was reached as soon as possible was to prevent the growth in the black market or via the Internet of Viagra, a drug that is very popular in other parts of the world, for some reason.

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