Page 627 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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the Liberal Party of what were described in news reports attributed to the Treasurer as fraudulent policy costings. I am absolutely confident about the veracity of our costing analysis, I consider it most inappropriate for the Treasurer to have used the word “fraud” in this context, and we propose to pursue this issue at a later date. It is sufficient for me at this time to reiterate that the latest quarterly management report has confirmed the basis of a key element of the Liberal Party’s election campaign strategy. Our approach has been vindicated and for that I thank the Treasurer for his support for our position in a document released under his name.

Breast cancer awareness

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.32): I would like to draw the attention of the Assembly to the importance of breast cancer awareness. I, along with Mr Smyth, the Leader of the Opposition, and Dr Foskey, attended a breakfast this morning to receive a report on breast cancer awareness.

Each year 11,000 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer, with 2,500 deaths, according to the information we were provided with this morning. These are very unsettling statistics, I think you would all agree. I would assume this means that each of us in this room has been affected in some way by knowing someone—a friend or a family member—who has breast cancer. In fact, at the breakfast it was pointed out to us that at each table probably one member would be at some time affected in some way and perhaps suffer breast cancer.

This disease is not yet well understood and, even though much research has been undertaken and still goes on, the risk factors of family history, smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and proper diet, plus other factors regarding hormonal influences and breast density, have been identified. However, regular breast checks and awareness of the risk factors are extremely important.

Whilst research goes on in Australia and, of course, worldwide and treatment options have improved and promise to continue to improve on the back of that research, it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that women are supported to take appropriate steps. Regular breast self-examination and appropriate screening can save many lives and prevent the enormous stress and uncertainty that this illness can place on the individual woman in question and her family and friends. I call on all members to recognise the importance of breast cancer awareness.

Animal cruelty—penalties

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (5.34): I want to clarify some incorrect statements I heard the Chief Minister make about my animal cruelty bill. He said that the penalties for animal cruelty would be higher than the penalties for assaults and acts of cruelty on humans. Under the Crimes Act there is a range of penalties for violent acts against humans. For example, murder brings a sentence of life imprisonment, which probably means, effectively, a non-parole period of 14 years or so. However, the sentence is life imprisonment. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 20 years. Intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm brings 15 years and recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm brings 10 years.

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