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Monday, 4 July 2011
Page: 7554


Mr EWEN JONES (Herbert) (20:58): I rise to speak in support of the member for Canberra's motion. I think it is a wonderful thing, and I appreciate the passion that she brings to this debate. This year is the 26thanniversary of my uncle receiving a new kidney. My uncle lives in Broadford in northern Victoria, and 26 years ago he would have died if not for his new kidney. He is now about to turn 70. He was the first bloke ever to let me play a Beatles record, he was the first bloke to take me for a ride in a Porsche and he let me beat him at golf—he is one of the world's best blokes. But, if not for his new kidney, my uncle would not be here.

It is all very well and good for us to talk about the importance of organ donation here, but it has to become a rite of passage for the youth of today. Once they leave school, it should be the same thing for them as having a legal drink at a pub was for me. You have to have that conversation with your parents, you have to get your their okay and you have to do make sure that your parents understand that you are okay with it and that all your friends are in there with you. I would like to see the default position be that you are an organ donor—I think that is something worthwhile. If you die you should offer your organs for donation unless you have religious or spiritual grounds that make you not want to do so. I think it is a wonderful thing to do and that it should be driven by the youth. It is all well and good our standing here saying what a wonderful thing organ donation is, but, unless it is driven by the youth of today, I suggest that we are not going to get there. My wife has said that they can have my organs now! She has been very upfront about that. They can have absolutely everything they want. She knows my insurance level. They can have it all now! I do not mean to be flippant about this matter, but I think it is something that we have to take as a fact of life. We must appeal to everyone and let them know that it is a good thing to do.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs D'Ath ): Order! The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.