Page 4042 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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But I am just letting you know—one white male to another—that saying over and over again that you are sick to death of talking about this issue is a bit patronising and is dismissive of the importance of this issue for the thousands of LGBTIQ Canberrans who have been waiting years and decades for their relationships to be recognised just like every other Australian.

People in the LGBTIQ community will fight for their rights regardless of whether or not someone that can get married is sick of the issue. One of the people who can say that they are genuinely tired is Senator Penny Wong. She said this on Q&A this week, not because she has endured appearances on Q&A with Tony Jones 18 times, but because every time she has come on there she has had to explain why her relationship should have the same status as everyone else’s.

I commend this motion to adjourn the Assembly’s proceedings this evening so that I can leave and go and help on the yes campaign; I will be assisting on their phone bank this evening.

Breast screening

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (6.48): I rise today to draw awareness to breast screening and to BreastScreen ACT. Today I went along to BreastScreen ACT and had my regular two-yearly check-up. It is very important for all women to ensure that they look after their breasts and do their regular checks. BreastScreen ACT offers free screening and follow-up services for all women over 40 years of age living in the ACT. Unfortunately, I am one of those women.

Being over 40 has its benefits, but sometimes its downsides. Breast screening in the ACT is done through digital mammography, which is a low-dose breast X-ray. Those who are a little worried need not be. I went through it today. It is quite painless, but marginally uncomfortable.

We have had some very high profile women in Australia and around the world who have fought breast cancer, some successfully; unfortunately, some, like Canberra’s Connie Johnson, not successfully. It is really important that the ACT’s free breast screening offered to all women is taken up by all women.

If women in Canberra notice any changes in their boobs, whether it be a lump, nipple discharge, a change in size or shape, an unusual persistent pain or a change in the skin such as dimpling, puckering or redness, I encourage them to seek medical advice as soon as possible and to continue to be vigilant about checking your breasts.

For women aged 40 years and over, it is not as vital; there is not as much evidence out there to show regular breast screening is something that is important. However, BreastScreen ACT believes that it is important and is offering it as a free service to all women over 40 in the ACT. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 should get notified of their free screening every two years. There has been a huge difference in ensuring the early detection of breast cancer, which means longevity for those patients.

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