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HEALTH—NATIONAL CLEFT AWARENESS WEEK

Senator Siewert, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 266—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) the week beginning 9 November 2008 is National Cleft Awareness Week,

  (ii) one in every 700 babies born in Australia is born with a cleft, either a cleft lip or a cleft palate or a combination of both,

  (iii) children with a cleft will usually require a range of dental, orthodontic, speech pathology and surgical therapies throughout their lives to support their full participation in society,

  (iv) in some states there are waiting lists of between 6 months and 2 years for speech pathology services and children face ongoing educational challenges unless their speech and language needs are addressed, and

  (v) the shortfall in public speech pathology services has forced families to seek services in the private sector which many families are unable to afford; and

 (b) calls on the Government to:

  (i) provide better support to publicly-funded speech pathology services, and

  (ii) investigate the costs of including speech pathology services within the existing Medicare Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Scheme.

Question put and passed.