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Notice given 25 January 2007

2970  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the approval given by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in 2005 for the establishment of human milk banks and the fact that 12 months later, no milk banks had commenced operating:

(1) Is the Minister aware of the substantial benefit to the health of premature babies of providing human milk banks, as recommended by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

(2) Given that there are 11 human milk banks already operating in North America and the United Kingdom and 300 in Brazil, is the Government considering developing a program for the establishment of such banks in all Australian states; if so, at what stage is this process; if not, why not.

(3) Is the Minister aware that the John Flynn Private Hospital on the Gold Coast, Queensland is ready to operate, but needs $350 000 per year in funding for this to be possible.

(4) What does the Government consider to be appropriate funding sources for the establishment of human milk banks.