Page 1387 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 April 2005

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Having this sort of service goes to the heart of accessibility for all. It certainly has and will allow those with a hearing impairment to know what is happening in the Legislative Assembly. I think that that is really important. It is also worthy of note, as many people may not be aware, that those people with a hearing aid fitted with what is called a T-switch can also connect to the hearing aid loop within the building. Of course, it is in this chamber, but not in the members’ area, which is a little unfortunate. It certainly is in the gallery and in the committee rooms. It is my hope that today’s education program will lead to the government and its departments looking at a range of improvements when it comes to accessibility of services for people with a disability.

World Transplant Games

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.16): I rise in this adjournment debate to bring to the Assembly’s notice the World Transplant Games which will be happening later this year. In February this year we celebrated Organ Donor Awareness Week to recognise the importance of organ donation in saving lives across Australia and, importantly, to increase the awareness in our community of the important issues surrounding organ donation.

Organ Donor Awareness Week was the result of collaboration among the ACT government, all other state and territory governments and the commonwealth government. The cooperation has been important to strengthen arrangements for organ and tissue donation across Australia. But more still needs to be done. In 2003, the number of recipients of donated organs outnumbered the number of donors by six to one. Whilst these figures are not a clear indication, as one organ donor can save the life of more than one recipient and the chance of being suitable to become a donor is one in 100, it is important to take note of them.

That is the intention of the World Transplant Games to be held in London, Canada from 16 to 24 July this year. The games, organised by the World Transplant Games Federation, are intended to demonstrate publicly, visibly and positively the benefits of successful organ transplant and to increase public awareness of transplants and organ donation. Further, the games promote the full rehabilitation and wellbeing of organ recipients.

In countries where the World Transplant Games have been held, there has been a 30 per cent or better increase in organ donation. In Canada, there are currently 4,000 people waiting for organ transplants. It is hoped that holding the games this year in London will boost the number of people willing to volunteer for organ donation and help save a life.

Participation in the games is open to anyone between the ages of four and 80 who received a successful life support organ transplant more than one year before the games. This year, four ACT residents will be part of the Australian team at the World Transplant Games. All have been the recipients of an organ donation and the successful treatment of all has enabled them to fully rehabilitate and participate in this great event.

I would like to pass on my congratulations to those members of the Australia team for their selection and wish them the very best at the World Transplant Games in July.

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