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Notice given 15 October 2002

205  Senator Allison: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Saturday, 28 September 2002, was World Retina Day,

(ii) macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease and is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in Australia,

(iii) macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, causing progressive deterioration of sight from loss of central vision leading to total blindness,

(iv) every year, 10 000 Australians are diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, and an estimated 20 000 Australians have macular degeneration that can be attributed to their smoking, and

(v) macular degeneration has already robbed nearly 350 000 Australians over the age of 50 of their eyesight, yet there is still very little understanding of or research into the disease; and

(b) calls on the Government to fund research into this condition, for which there is currently no known cure, and support the Macular Degeneration Foundation Australia’s aims to bring dignity, support and education to Australians suffering from this disease.

206  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett): To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the circumstances that drive people to attempt to travel from Indonesia to seek asylum in Australia are many and varied, and include long waiting periods in Indonesia for the resolution of claims for asylum and long delays in determining a durable solution for those found to be genuine refugees,

(ii) on 19 October 2001 a boat, now identified as ‘Suspect Illegal Entry Vessel X’, carrying 421 passengers and crew including 70 children, sank with the tragic loss of 352 lives, and

(iii) a number of those who lost their lives had close family members in Australia who were undergoing refugee determination or who had been granted temporary protection visas;

(b) acknowledges the concerns raised by this tragedy within the Australian community and expresses its regret at the loss of life; and

(c) asks the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (Mr Ruddock) to grant those who have suffered such a loss, whether they are in detention awaiting a decision or are in the community on a temporary protection visa, a permanent visa on humanitarian grounds.