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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 February 2018) . . Page.. 98 ..

Sexual health

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (5.25): Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day for the lovers, whoever they are and whatever stage of life they are at—be they young sweethearts, our LGBTIQ brothers and sisters, those amazing elderly couples that maintain their passion after decades together, the social conservatives who believe in waiting for marriage and sticking with one partner, and the social conservatives who say they believe in waiting for marriage and sticking with one partner and then stray. We need not mention any examples from across the lake.

Tomorrow is National Condom Day and, just like Valentine’s Day, National Condom Day is for everyone. Last week I had the pleasure of launching this year’s National Condom Day at the offices of Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT. SHFPACT is a leader in reproductive and sexual health promotion and clinical service delivery, providing advice, education and health assessments for members of the public.

Tomorrow SHFPACT staff and volunteers will be bringing awareness to National Condom Day by handing out silk roses with a specially developed condom pack to celebrate the event. This year’s beautiful silk roses were collated through the hard work and skills of the staff and clients at LEAD—an ACT community disability service provider. The message on the condom pack is, “You know where to put it”.

You should not just wrap your willy because an unexpected pregnancy can damage your career or reputation. It will also stop all sorts of spots, itches and many other worse things. The rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, gonorrhoea and syphilis are rising. It does not matter how discriminating you are about sexual partners; infections do not discriminate.

So why condoms? Because they work; because despite all the advances in screening technology and PrEP for HIV, condoms remain the cheapest and most readily available form of protection. Also, condoms are one of the cheapest, most readily available and fun forms of protection.

SHFPACT is also addressing another underlying reality: people are often embarrassed or ashamed of talking about safe sex or buying condoms. Buying condoms should be as painless as buying a bunch of roses on Valentine’s Day. Nobody should feel shame about their sexuality. I commend SHFPACT for their work and remind all members present to put on their raincoats.

Orange Sky Laundry

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (5.28): For many of us, showering or doing our laundry is just one of our regular household chores. But for 1,700 people in Canberra who might be experiencing homelessness it is not so easy. Back in 2014 two 20-year-olds, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, saw this problem and wanted to create a solution. They installed a couple of washing machines and dryers in the back of an old van and drove to local parks around Brisbane to offer free clothes washing services to people who might be sleeping rough.

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