Page 626 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 9 March 2011

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(c) that, on average, people on the transplant list can wait between six months and four years;

(d) that one organ and tissue donor can save up to 10 lives and improve the lives of many more;

(e) that Canberra saw a record number of multi organ donations in 2010, with 10 multi organ donor families which have transformed the lives of 32 Australians; and

(f) that Australia has a world class reputation for successful transplant outcomes yet still has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the developed world with only 40 per cent of Australianss knowing the donation wishes of their loved ones;

(2) congratulates the organisers of the inaugural DonateLife Week 2011, Australia’s National Awareness Week to promote organ and tissue donation, and for providing a range of important forum to discuss and reflect on organ and tissue donation;

(3) acknowledges the effort that was put into DonateLife Week across the country which included events in the ACT including the launch of the Book of Life, the organised DonateLife Walk around the lake, the Heart to Heart Ball and the ACT Chief Minister’s Awards; and

(4) calls on all Members of the Assembly to consider registering as organ and tissue donors and to talk about this important issue with their community in an effort to increase awareness about organ and tissue donation.

Madam Assistant Speaker and colleagues, first, before I get into the detail of this critically important issue, I would like members to note that I am indeed a registered donor. Secondly, I am proud to say that both of my staff are registered donors. That simply means that, in the unfortunate event that we collectively meet our maker simultaneously, there exists the possibility of improving the quality of life for up to 30 other Australians. I challenge other officers in this place, if their convictions provide, to commit to the donor program.

We should ask ourselves why is it that over 1,700 Australians are waiting between six months and four years for an organ or tissue transplant at any one time. In Australia the trend for the past 20 years indicates that around 200 people annually become organ donors and that 98 per cent of Australians agree that organ donation saves and improves lives. A record 309 deceased Australians donated their organs and tissues for transplant last year—saving or improving the lives of 931 Australians. The ACT had an increased number of 10 donations that improved the lives of over 32 people. These people donate organs such as their kidneys—

Members interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mr Hargreaves, just one moment. Members, please could you have your private conversations outside this chamber.

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