Page 230 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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Another important area in preventive health measures that I would like to mention is the pleasing rate of immunisation in the ACT. The ACT continues to report one of the highest levels of fully immunised children at the age of five in the nation. The proportion has increased, and 84 per cent of children were immunised in 2008-09, 89 per cent in 2009-10, and 91 per cent were fully immunised in 2010-11. This trend continued in 2011-12.

We know there is some concern amongst health professionals and the scientific community in relation to those who call on parents not to immunise their children. There have been recent calls on all parents to make sure they carry out these preventive steps and do not expose their children to possibly very debilitating and sometimes life-threatening illnesses.

As a former registered nurse, I have witnessed the death of a child whose parents had decided not to have their child immunised—a child who died from a preventable disease. Pleasingly, as I said, the rates of child immunisation are high and continue to improve, and I would encourage all parents to make sure they immunise their children appropriately.

In conclusion, I commend the government once more for its efforts in the health preventative area and urge everyone in this place to support continued investment in preventive health initiatives to reduce the burden of disease and injury in our community.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (6.02): I thank Ms Porter for bringing this motion on today. I think it is a pretty good motion and I foreshadow that the Canberra Liberals will be supporting it. I think there may be some amendments coming later from Mr Smyth which add to the motion, but certainly I commend Ms Porter for bringing it on, because I have long been a champion of preventative health in the ACT, as members would be aware. I think perhaps it was the only thing that I and the former member Ms Bresnan ever agreed on.

Mr Rattenbury: There must have been something else.

MR HANSON: I am not sure there was anything else.

Mr Seselja: Queensland?

MR HANSON: Yes, we both supported Queensland in the State of Origin; that might have been another. If I think long and hard there may have been one or two others, but certainly that was one that we both did agree on. Indeed, the Canberra Liberals put out a health discussion paper in February 2010 and this is what I said:

The cost of delivering healthcare in the ACT is enormous, consuming nearly $1billion of the ACT budget each year and growing at about 11 percent each year.

Indeed, that has come to pass:

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