Page 552 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013

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Group. The convoy was a fantastic event. We began over in Mitchell, staged the convoy, and then drove all the way down the expressway to Tuggeranong where we finished up in a carnival-like atmosphere. We expected there would be around 200 trucks for the convoy and around 200 motorcycles. They were the registered participants. But on the day that figure was doubled. There were 409 trucks and some 350 motorcycles. They actually stopped counting at 350.

The government assists, of course, with cancer services across the ACT and has committed $20 million to boost services over the next four years across the ACT. The Cancer Support Group itself is funded by the ACT government to the tune of $117,200, GST exclusive of course, for 2012-13 by the Health Directorate. That pays the running costs of the organisation. The funds raised by the convoy actually go to online support services for those cancer sufferers. Cancer is the leading cause of disease in the ACT with one in three males and one in four females developing cancer by the age of 75. The Cancer Support Group currently provide assistance to over 600 cancer patients. They assist with extra costs as well as providing counselling and referring services.

I just want to mention some of the people that took part in the event: the patron of the convoy, Annette Ellis, our former member, the Cancer Support Group itself—Hugh Percy, the organiser, and Melissa Garner—and Scotty and Nige from 104.7. The lead truck was Boss Haulage and Excavations. They paid $10,000 to drive their truck over there. ACTION and the ACT Ambulance Service were both attendees, as well as ActewAGL. There was the Canberra Raiders with Dave Furner. It was wonderful to see his wife, Kelly, attending to help out and also their daughter, Bella, who was dancing for the group, and the carnival atmosphere. The Elvin Group paid $6,250. They paid another $200 per truck, and they had 23 trucks in the convoy. There was Dale and Hitchcock, $6,000; ATS, $5,000; Innaimo Transport, $3,300; the D Group, $3,040; TJS Country Express, $2,100; Jones Transport (Yass), $2,000; Canberra Concrete Recyclers, $1,000; and the Wholesale Sleeper Co, $500. Those participants that I mentioned—the 409 trucks and 350 motorcycles—also paid a $30 registration fee for each participant, which went to the Cancer Support Group.

I make special mention of a good friend of mine, Marty Hains, who used to be here in the ACT. He has moved to Wollongong now and operates in one of the FM stations down there. He brought a series of trucks and support from Wollongong and I would like to mention those: Murrell Freight, M.J. Rowles, JJ Richard and Sons, Matt James Haulage and Southern Truck Centre. In conclusion, it was a huge success, raising $83,700-odd, and they are still counting, apparently. Congratulations to all of them.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (6.48): Madam Speaker, did you know that the recent trends in international maths and science study showed that the ACT topped the nation with approximately 80 per cent of our students meeting or exceeding the international benchmark in maths and science? Other Australian states did not do as well. Performance in maths and science has been linked to teachers’ expertise and student engagement during lessons.

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