Page 777 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2018

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The significance of the distance of the trip is that in 2016 in Australia 2,866 people tragically lost their lives to suicide. On average seven people per day die by suicide and it is estimated a further 65,300 people attempt suicide every year. The 1,433 kilometres represents a kilometre for every two people who took their own lives in 2016. The aim of the event is to create a national conversation about suicide prevention. It is a difficult subject to discuss but the need for these conversations has never been more important.

The riders are currently on their way to Albury, having started this morning in Wagga. They did leave Canberra on Monday morning with that very chilly start. Members will recall it was probably the coldest morning we have had all year. They battled the heat and wind on Sunday afternoon and then got up again on Monday morning to ride 266 kilometres in one day to Wagga. The ride finishes at Etihad Stadium this Friday to coincide with the start of the AFL season in Melbourne.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the entire team, particularly to thank Wayne Schwass and the Puka Up team for having me along on their ride on Sunday and for their efforts in starting an important conversation about mental health and suicide prevention. I would also like to acknowledge the sponsors of the trip, whose names I will not read out now but who are all acknowledged through the Puka Up website and Facebook page, particularly the 28 riders who come from all walks of life.

I had a chance to chat to quite a few of them. They have taken this on for a range of reasons, some of them quite personal and some of them simply for a desire to contribute to the community and raise awareness of this very important issue. I wish them all strong tail winds and few punctures on their trip to Melbourne.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.55 pm.

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