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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 18 November 2010) . . Page.. 5746 ..

And, finally, on a busy day on 14 November I attended ArtSound FM’s annual open day and fundraiser. I was invited to drop by during the day and enjoyed live music, food and wine and toured the studios and the now legendary book and music fair. I also enjoyed the magnificent landscaping that was completed over the last few months. I would just like to compliment them on the fundraising that they had which raised about $46,000, as I understand it.

Schools—distribution of political material

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Women) (5.55): I would like to clarify an answer I gave during question time today in response to a supplementary question from Mr Coe.

Mr Coe asked me when I became aware of the contents of the show bag. I responded that I had become notified by my staff of the contents of the bag very soon after the event, either later that day or the following morning.

I have since gone back and had my office check our records of what information they provided to me about the contents. In light of the advice I received at the time, I would like to clarify my answer to Mr Coe. I would like to put on record that a Labor Club membership form, or indeed any material associated with the Labor Club, was not in the information provided to me after the event.

I put on record that the first time I heard there was a Labor Club membership form in the show bag was when I heard that allegation on the radio this morning.

To reiterate, I was notified of the contents of the bag by my office on 2 September. However, this information made no mention of Labor Club material. The first time I heard about the presence of Labor Club material in the show bag was this morning. So responses that I gave to this chamber on 21 September on this topic should be viewed in light of what I have just said and explained.

Animal welfare

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (5.57): I rise today to draw the Assembly’s attention to several significant developments in animal welfare that have occurred today and in recent months.

Firstly, yesterday our Australian pig farmers made an agreement that they would phase out the use of sow stalls by the year 2017. There are hundreds of thousands of sow stalls used in Australian farms. They keep pigs confined to indoor stalls so small that a pig cannot even turn around. Sow stalls are basically a metal crate two metres long by 60 centimetres wide. The poor animals who live in them cannot express their normal animal behaviour: they cannot go outside, they cannot move around, they cannot socialise with other pigs. Understandably, they suffer in these conditions, both mentally and physically, with many pigs even having trouble standing up or lying, due to muscle and bone deterioration.

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