Page 3458 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 17 August 2011

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currently there are 104. But given that this is based on need and priority housing, I have spoken to the department today to remove that cap because need is need regardless of the number. So that change will come into place.

Also, Ms Hunter asked for the criteria. I am happy to provide that and table it there. It is available online but it is there for your information. I do apologise for that mistake. Also, the multidisciplinary panel meets fortnightly not monthly.

I wish to refer to some other comments Mrs Dunne made in the adjournment debate. She has a little bit of a hit and dashes off. I was not at the Master Builders Association event. I provided ample time to notify them. I point out for those opposite that I have had two officers, two senior managers, from the MBA make contact with my office and apologise to me for their mistake. They are clearly taking their own responsibility for their mistake. They are embarrassed for my embarrassment. I just wanted to make that clear and I will certainly be making that known to whatever publication Mrs Dunne is referring to.

She does go on a bit about no shows. A no show that I am aware of Mrs Dunne not turning up to is actually the Barnados ACT mother of the year function where they called her name as being in attendance but she was not there. Of course, there was Mr Coe who left an empty chair next to Brendan Smyth at a Scouts function.

These things do happen, Mr Speaker. I also want to offer congratulations to the FINACT group, for the event that Mr Seselja spoke about. But I must admit that one of the lasting memories I will have from that function was when Mr Doszpot introduced Mr Seselja as the deputy opposition leader, but I think I will leave it there.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Association

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (7.39): I recently received a phone call from a constituent and friend, Steven Hayes, who wanted to make me aware of August being designated by the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Association as SMA Awareness Month.

Steve’s family only learned about SMA about 12 months ago. Spinal muscular atrophy is a motor neurone disease with one in 35 people in the population carrying the gene. Most parents experience the disease for the first time with the birth of their child. Most are unaware of any previous family history, as the gene is recessive. Each pregnancy to a carrier couple has a one in four chance of producing a child with SMA. The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Association was founded in 2005 by Julie Cini, who lost two infant daughters to SMA, and is supported by parents like Tamara Hayes, daughter of Steve and Carol Hayes, who lost her baby daughter to SMA in April this year.

There was a recent article in the Canberra Times, on Tuesday 2 August, on Tamara Hayes and SMA:

Gordon woman Tamara Hayes has channelled her love for her late daughter into fighting the disease that killed baby Summer.

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