Page 3066 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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National Heart Foundation

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.38): I rise tonight too to join with Mr Coe in celebrating the Heart Foundation breakfast on 26 July. Mr Coe went through some acknowledgements. I thank him for that. But what I will raise in the Assembly tonight is the actual theme behind that particular week. The theme for the Heart Foundation was “Sitting less for adults”.

As Mr Coe noted, the proponent who gave us the speech, Adrian Bauman, indicated that the studies show that in this electronic age we now sit a lot more than we have in previous times. We spend time sitting at home and during travel to work. This is directly linked to an increase in health problems such as poor nutrition, obesity, insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes, but also, of course, the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

There are many ways in which we do sit for long periods during the day. That could include having breakfast, driving to work, being at your desk at work and driving home. Here in the Assembly, for example, it is very easy to sit too much. Adults spend more than half of their waking hours sitting. Therefore, to reduce the risk of health problems it is important to be aware of how much you sit and try to move more throughout the day.

The evidence was pretty striking. There were some tests mentioned in the morning discussion relating to those that had already had heart events. The tests were between those that had stents arising from their heart event and those that had chosen to move to a more active lifestyle. The results were that those that did not have the stents and chose the more active lifestyle actually lived longer than those that had the physical stents put into their arteries.

This is a very important message from the Heart Foundation. I thank Mr Coe for bringing the matter before the Assembly. I commend everybody to sit less during their time at work and play.

Street law program

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.41): I would like to speak today about the work done by the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre, specifically through their street law program. Street law is a program designed to assist people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness by providing them with legal advice or by connecting them with other free services which may assist. The program is designed to assist and support vulnerable Canberrans with legal problems before those problems get out of control.

The clients of the street law service face significant barriers in accessing or understanding their legal rights and problems which, if ignored, become much bigger than they need be. The lawyers at street law help with debt problems, Centrelink issues, housing concerns, domestic violence protection orders, employment rights, victims compensation, disability care and discrimination, among other issues.

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