Page 600 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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member of this Assembly in recognising the personal and collective commitment by all of those individuals and organisations to children and young people.

Mr Speaker, I commend to the Assembly the first six-month status report on the implementation of the Vardon and Murray reports. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.


Mr Hargreaves, on behalf of Mr Corbell, presented the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 30A—Quarterly departmental performance report—December quarter 2004-2005—Arts, Heritage and Environment Portfolio within Urban Services.

Organ donor awareness week

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Dunne, Ms MacDonald, and Mr Seselja proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms MacDonald be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The need to recognise the important role Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week plays in promoting organ and tissue donations and encouraging Canberrans to become organ donors.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (3.49): Mr Speaker, in 2004 organ donor rates across Australia increased by 21 per cent, with more than five million Australians now being registered donors. Proudly, the ACT leads the way with the highest donor rate in the country. While this increase is fantastic, still only about one quarter of the Australian population are registered donors, making ours one of the lowest donor rates in the developed world. But our transplant waiting lists are continuing to grow. As at January 2005, there were 1,663 Australians on the organ donor transplant waiting list. These people are playing the waiting game and, sadly, about 20 per cent will die before receiving their life-saving transplant.

The need to raise awareness and educate the community on becoming an organ donor is great as many more lives could be saved or improved if more were to become organ and tissue donors. While nobody likes to discuss death, it is important to talk about organ donation with our friends and family so that they know our intentions, should anything happen. Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week gives us all the opportunity to think about what becoming an organ donor means and discuss this with family and friends. Organised by the Organ Donation Network, the theme of this year’s Organ Donor Awareness Week is “Organ donors save lives” and it will be held nationally from 18 to 25 February.

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