Tuesday 30 August 2005

Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, thanks to the member for Apsley for bringing this before the House. I think no Tasmanian could disagree with this motion and that includes members of the Government. It is hard to understand why the minister seems to be dragging his feet on this issue too. He has said the immunotherapy program is too expensive for Tasmania alone and that funding was being sought from other States and the Federal Government. In the meantime, even with the State's coffers running over, as our State election approaches, it seems that money cannot be found to continue this immunotherapy program past December. We all know what happens when a program such as this closes down, even temporarily. Expertise drifts away. It is usually more costly to resurrect than it is to keep it going. So I hope this motion receives unanimous support in this House and that the Government will, at last, listen.

This whole issue, Mr President, is of course about community. It is about the Tasmanian community helping those 12 000 or so members who are at a particular risk from jack?jumper bites. Some of them are at risk of death the next time they are bitten. We Tasmanians take pride in our caring community, our caring society of sticking together to help each other through difficulties. So let us therefore keep pressure on the Government. It has to listen if the Tasmanian community makes enough noise.