Page 125 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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time later this year. Whilst Garang invited me to play a game or two, I am not sure I would be much of an asset on the basketball court. However, my colleague and Leader of the Opposition, Zed Seselja, I am sure, would be an asset to the team.

In December, the Eagles entered two teams in the South Sudanese Australian basketball tournament, where the girls team won the competition. Garang is relying on the continued support of the Canberra community to host the event later this year, if he is successful in his bid. I call upon all potential sponsors to get behind this wonderful event.

Along with Garang Kuer Bul, there are a number of people that assist in the management of the club. They include the vice-chair, Jok Nhial; the secretary, Yar Mading; the treasurer, Victor Bek; and the public officer, Anai Nhial. I know the club is very grateful for the ongoing assistance of the following organisations: Companion House, Basketball ACT, Multicultural Youth Services and the South Sudanese community-youth association.

Garang and his colleagues are proof that sport is a powerful unifying tool which can successfully bridge the gap between culture and community. I look forward to supporting this sporting club in any way that I can and wish them every success for the years ahead.

Cage eggs

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (6.12): I rise to briefly reflect on a few recent events in the battery cage egg debate. One of the interesting things, as reported in the Canberra Times on Tuesday, 7 February, is that apparently the hens of Australia will be producing a million eggs a day too many by July, which is an amazing concept really. Apparently there are already five million dozen eggs in storage in Australia, which is absolutely huge and really demonstrates there is absolutely no need to continue with the current cruelty that is the battery cage egg industry.

Other jurisdictions have realised this. The European Union directive which abolished battery cage systems for egg production came into force on 1 January this year and, as yet, I have seen no press reports which suggest in any way that the people of Europe no longer have enough eggs to eat or that the price of eggs has gone up unreasonably or anything like that. I think that what has happened in Europe has demonstrated that we can phase out this cruel practice and that what is happening in Australia with the huge oversupply of eggs has demonstrated that we can do this and probably in a way which would cause no more disruption over and above the current disruption to the egg industry. So I leave these thoughts with my fellow MLAs.

The other thought I would like to leave with them is that the federal Labor Party had a resolution at last year’s ALP national conference that they would establish an independent office of animal welfare. But unfortunately, they have not done so as yet. They were asked about this in estimates by Senator Lee Rhiannon, who is the federal Greens’ animal welfare spokesperson. I think the fact that they have not done this demonstrates to us how important it is that we do not allow cruelty to animals and that

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