Page 999 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 15 March 2005

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Mrs Dunne: No, I don’t.

MR CORBELL: I can assure her that the Hearing Resource Centre and the 83,000 hearing impaired people in the ACT think it is a wonderful initiative, and they said so at today’s launch.

Today, I am pleased to have launched a new service for ACTION called Bustext. Bustext is a service where people can send an SMS message to a dedicated number and, from that number, get back the information they need on when the next bus is servicing their location and where that bus goes. This is a very valuable service for commuters. It means that you no longer have to carry around a timetable or try to remember the timetable. Equally, if you are a new user and you need to get bus information for the location you find yourself in, you simply dial the number, tell the computer where you are, where you want to go and the SMS message comes back with the rest of the information you need. It is a very effective service, one that will cost only 55c per message—the cost of an SMS message. I am pleased to say that it is being done at no cost to ACTION, apart from some promotional advertising. The provider of the service, Kukan Systems, will be running the service on a trial basis for ACTION.

Not only is Bustext good news for people who need bus information quickly and easily—24 hours a day, seven days a week—it is also very valuable for people who are hearing impaired because, if they do not carry the timetable with them, they have real difficulty in finding out when the bus service is coming along. I was pleased to have representatives from the Hearing Resource Centre at the launch of Bustext today because they were able to say publicly and openly that this is a very positive service for their members. It means that they can now get bus timetable information easily and quickly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For those of us without a hearing impairment, if we do not have access to a timetable, we can just call the ACTION inquiry number and they will tell you when a service will be by. But if you are hearing impaired, that is obviously not an option. It will be a very valuable service for the hearing impaired, particularly the profoundly deaf, and something that will make a real difference in the lives of those individuals.

I encourage all members to have a look at the new SMS service. You dial the dedicated number, text where you are and where you want to go and the message comes back within about 30 seconds telling you exactly what bus route, when it is coming and the bus stop. This is a very valuable service that I commend to all members.

Health—radiation oncology

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Health. I am advised that, for some time, oncology patients who are unable to receive radiotherapy in the ACT within clinically acceptable time frames have been referred interstate for treatment. An example that you would be familiar with is the case of Mrs Heather Millar of Weston, whose permission we have to mention her name in today’s proceedings.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer on 8 December 2004 and received an operation five days later. However, she was told that she would have to wait a further three months for radiation therapy in the ACT, a clinically unacceptable waiting time. Instead of

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