Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Media 2007-11-22 Fluoridation Bill

PRESS RELEASE: DLP Fluoride Bill Passes Upper House
Thursday 22 November 2007

The DLP initiated Health (Fluoridation) Amendment Bill 2007 was passed by the Victorian Legislative Council late last night. This is the first DLP Bill ever to pass either House of the Victorian Parliament. The Bill requires the government to obtain the approval of affected citizens at a plebiscite before it may add fluoride to any previously unfluoridated part of Victoria.

The Victorian government' s plans to fluoridate new areas is highly controversial in parts of the state.

The debate became quite emotional with the government resorting to name calling in the end. When the government saw that it was going to lose the debate, its main speaker called the case against fluoride "voodoo". In fact the case that was presented against fluoride was based on research by Harvard University and by scientists published in the British Medical Journal and by the 2000 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, Dr Arvid Carlsson. Mr Kavanagh, Member for Western Victoria, responded," if these people are practitioners of "voodoo' then who in the world is not?".

"There is scientific evidence that drinking fluoridated water is of only marginal benefit to teeth and that it may be harmful to other aspects of health", Mr Kavanagh said.

In addition to the DLP, the Bill was supported by the Greens and Nationals and the Liberal Party. ALP members have alleged to journalists that there was a deal done between the DLP and the Liberal Party to exchange votes. "These allegations are not true", Mr Peter Kavanagh, DLP Member for Western Victoria and sponsor of the Bill, said, "I do not engage in such deals because it would mean that I would be voting for things that I do not believe in".

"The Bill will also need to be passed by the Lower House to become law. That is unlikely to happen because the ALP is so opposed to this Bill, Its passage by the Upper House last night is likely, however, to force the government to reconsider and perhaps modify its policy of fluoridating new parts of Victoria, regardless of the opinions of affected citizens" Mr Kavanagh said.

"This is a win for democracy and for local people deciding local issues- an ideal central to the DLP's values", Mr Kavanagh said.

For further comment, please call Peter Kavanagh on (03) 5222 1503.

Hansard 2007-11-21 Fluoridation Bill

Activity: Second Reading
Date: 21 November 2007
Page: 3568

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- I would like to explain in some detail why I believe it is wrong, regardless of the opinions of affected people, to fluoridate new areas of Victoria and therefore why all members should vote for the Health Fluoridation (Amendment) Bill. I will argue that the efficacy of fluoridating water supplies to prevent tooth decay is actually dubious, that it is very possibly harmful and that the democratic principles to which we all aspire demand that this mass medication should not proceed against the wishes of affected people.

There is very strong opposition to fluoridation throughout western Victoria, and not just by a small vocal minority. I have attended some very large meetings throughout western Victoria, including one with 800 people about six weeks or so ago in Warrnambool -- the largest public meeting ever held in Warrnambool.

Yesterday I tabled in this house a petition signed by 2543 people from western Victoria urging all members to support this bill. On Friday I was sent a letter, which was described by Mr Vogels, which was signed by 21 medical practitioners, including specialists, in Warrnambool. They were all opposed to fluoridation. Their opposition to fluoridation is expressed on the basis of scientific evidence suggesting that fluoridation may be harmful. I am not a scientific expert, but I will attempt to outline some of the scientific concerns over the possible effects of fluoridation.

It is often assumed that proponents of fluoride represent modern scientific thinking, that fluoride is the norm in advanced countries and that its use is growing around the world. None of that is true. Fluoridation is common in North America, Australia and New Zealand; however, less than 6 per cent of the world's population drinks deliberately fluoridated water.

Several advanced countries have stopped adding fluoride to their water supplies, including Germany, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden -- not Alabama, Mr Pakula. I have a reference from the British Medical Journal of last month. Parts of Canada have also recently decided to stop fluoridating their water supplies.

Fluoride, or more accurately fluorosilicic acid, also known as hydrosilicofluoric acid, which is actually the fluoride compound added to Victoria's water supplies, is toxic even in very small doses. Indeed fluoride is a prescribed poison under the national drugs and poisons schedule, and I have the Australian government internet site reference for that schedule. The fact that something is very toxic does not necessarily mean that it can never be consumed by people under any circumstances. Sometimes even poisons can be beneficial in their effects -- for example, radiation treatment.

Inherent toxicity surely does demand, however, that any benefits must be demonstrated before it is used on human beings, particularly when it is proposed to be used on people who are not sick, when it is intended to be distributed to tens of thousands of people whether they want it or not and will continue to be given to them for the rest of their lives.

It seems to me very clear that the onus of proving that a poison is beneficial and not otherwise harmful is on the proponents of the practice -- those who want to add fluoride to our drinking water -- and not on those who would oppose it. In that context Ms Pulford quoted something which she assumed supported her argument -- that there is insufficient evidence to draw

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conclusions about other possible negative consequences of fluoridation. She said it is impossible to prove that fluoridation is harmful and that therefore is an argument for adding it to the water supply. I think the onus should be the other way around. The onus should be on those who are wanting to add this poison to the water supply to show that it is not harmful.

Not very long ago my main interest in requiring referendums as a prerequisite to fluoridation was based on democratic principle. I thought that fluoridation was probably quite beneficial to teeth and otherwise harmless but that people should have a say in whether their water supplies would be fluoridated. I have been surprised to learn that the benefits of fluoridating water supplies are actually very to extremely limited, that mildly adverse effects are common and that severely harmful consequences are, on the basis of the scientific evidence, entirely possible. I found that the opponents of fluoridation are not a lunatic fringe; they include some of the world's finest scientific minds.

The average standard of dental health of children varies greatly within fluoridated areas such as Melbourne.

The average standard is much higher in, say, Brighton than in, say, Sunshine. This difference in standards between different parts of fluoridated areas would not negate the case for fluoridation if it could be shown that fluoride significantly increases average standards and that it is clearly not harmful to other aspects of health. There are reasons to seriously doubt both of these propositions.

What do the proponents of fluoridation argue? David Davis quoted rather old figures for fluoridation -- 48 per cent and 36 per cent. In fact the Victorian government no longer claims even that fairly modest improvement in dental health.

According to the most recent documents it claims a 36 per cent reduction in caries for children who are six years old and a 22 per cent reduction in caries for children who are -- --

Mr D. Davis -- It was a 2006 document I quoted from.

Mr KAVANAGH -- This refers to the figures Mr Davis gave and says they are basically obsolete. They are from Dental Health Services Victoria's school dental service for 2002. The better figures, it says, are 36 and 22 per cent respectively. For 12-year-olds -- a more important sample group because it includes children who have been six years old and includes a study of permanent teeth, not baby teeth -- it claims that fluoridation reduces caries by 22 per cent. These claims are much lower than the claims made in the recent past, including those of 60 per cent put around not very long ago by the Victorian government. It is a big decrease from 60 to 22 per cent.

Even these modified claims, however, are at the higher end of estimates.

According to an article in the British Medical Journal, or BMJ, of October 2007, 3200 studies of the effects of fluoridation claim on average that the proportion of children in fluoridated areas with no caries is 15 per cent higher than the proportion of children in non-fluoridated areas. Even this modest claim is doubted by the authors, because in the studies reviewed 'potential confounders were poorly adjusted for', and I have an academic reference for that. In this context the confounders they refer to are factors besides fluoridation that contribute to the average dental standards in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. This claim is undoubtedly true. It is often claimed that the prevalence of caries in Victoria is higher in unfluoridated areas -- that is, there is more decay in unfluoridated areas. That is undoubtedly true. It is also true that confounding factors may well explain this.

These confounding factors include higher average incomes in areas that have long been fluoridated, principally Melbourne, which has a higher average standard of living than areas that have not yet been fluoridated. Along with income disparity of course come differences in nutrition and different abilities to pay for dental services. Furthermore, it is also obvious that dental services are less widely available and accessible in many parts of Victoria outside Melbourne -- that is, those areas that are largely, though not entirely, unfluoridated. If, for example, fluoridated areas tend to be wealthier areas of a country, state or province, then this claim of 15 per cent is very dubious indeed. It is reasonable to believe that the 15 per cent so-called improvement is even more dubious if dental services are more plentiful and if nutrition tends to be better in fluoridated areas. In the case of Victoria all of these factors are true.

It is relatively easy to compare average standards of health in any two populations. It is much more difficult to account for these confounding factors. The BMJ refers to reviews of the effectiveness of fluoridation by the Medical Research Council and the Scottish intercollegiate guidelines, which were based on the York study to which David Davis also referred. It says of those findings that along with many other supporters of fluoridation, it used the York review's findings selectively to give an overoptimistic assessment of the evidence in favour of fluoridation. Studies concluded that the efficacy of fluoride in preventing dental decay in preschool children could not be determined because

Page 3570

of factors such as the use of fluoride toothpaste, socioeconomic status and sugar consumption.

The BMJ authors added:

We know of no subsequent evidence that reduces the uncertainty.

In Warrnambool it takes at best two weeks to see a dentist if you are in pain. If you are not in pain and you go to a private dental practice, it takes about six to nine months. The situation in Ballarat is not much better and David Davis referred to many areas in Victoria where the wait for public dental services is not of the order of weeks or months but years.

Regardless of fluoridation, would it be any wonder if the standards of dental health were found to be lower in Warrnambool and Ballarat than they are in Melbourne? It would not be, would it? If you have to wait nine months to see a dentist, even if you are paying, and five years if you are not in a position to pay, it would not be surprising if dental standards were not very high!

Dental health has improved dramatically in fluoridated areas in recent decades. Dental health has also improved dramatically in unfluoridated areas. Some studies have shown that in every fluoridated capital city of Australia the incidence of caries among children has declined to a fraction of what it was decades ago. In Brisbane the incidence of caries in children declined by around 65 per cent between 1977 and 1987, an improvement of the same order as the improvement in every other large Australian city. Brisbane's water has never been fluoridated, yet in one 10-year period dental cavities decreased by 65 per cent.

Even this field study on a mass scale is superseded by studies in the United States. Comparisons in American states, some of which are fluoridated and some of which are not, showed no discernible difference in the rates of improvement in dental health. The same is true of the European Union. The dental health of children in European Union countries has increased very sharply over the last 30 years. These improvements have occurred in countries that are or have been largely fluoridated, such as Germany, and those which are not fluoridated, such as Sweden. I have academic references for that proposition.

Fluoride can be beneficial to teeth, but its effect, it now seems quite clear, is topical -- that is, its benefits are achieved like an antiseptic, by contact with affected body parts, in this case teeth. Fluoride in toothpaste is extremely effective at avoiding or preventing dental caries.

Little benefit is achieved from drinking it, however, because the prevalence of fluorides in saliva is only about one-sixtieth to one-hundredth of the ratio that is in the water that is consumed. As Mr Vogels said, you would not drink iodine or something like that, but that is what is happening with fluoride. The benefits are topical, achieved by contact, but the method of dispensing it is by drinking it.

The proponents of fluoride claim there is no proven case of fluoride doing harm. This depends on what is meant by proof. It is true that even in pro-fluoride publications, the government admits to dental fluorosis, a very common condition of discoloration of the teeth, staining of the teeth, and in severe cases pitting and mottling of teeth.

General practitioners and patients in western Victoria have told me of people who react very badly to fluoride, even at very low levels.

They break out in rashes and asthma can follow. Indeed some people moved to Geelong from Melbourne decades ago to avoid fluoridation in Melbourne's water. They tell me that if they ever come to Melbourne they bring their own water with them so that if they want a cup of tea they can have one without breaking out in an adverse reaction.

In some parts of the world, particularly China and India, high levels of fluoride occur naturally in water, not by addition but because rocks have fluoride in them. Those levels are admittedly much higher than the levels the Victorian government intends to fluoridate our water. In those places skeletal fluorosis, which is a deforming condition something like arthritis throughout the body, is common, and not just dental fluorosis which occurs at lower levels.

The PRESIDENT -- Order! I advise Mr Kavanagh that he has a right of reply and is able to sum up the points raised in the second-reading debate.

I refer to a passage from the House of Representatives Practice on speaking in reply, and I want Mr Kavanagh to think about it:

The mover of a substantive motion of the second or third reading of a bill may speak on a second occasion in reply, but must confine any remarks to matters raised during the debate.

I have to say to Mr Kavanagh that I think he has gone beyond that on numerous occasions in extrapolating points that he has made, to the extent that in my opinion it is another crack at his initial contribution to the debate. I want Mr Kavanagh to think about that. His summary has been going for 17 minutes, which I have to say by any stretch is a long time.

Mr KAVANAGH -- Many comments were made that fluoride was not harmful. Therefore, I thought it was relevant to respond to those comments. Some of the contributions were much longer than I have been going so far.

The PRESIDENT -- Order! Mr Kavanagh's contribution is a summary.

Mr KAVANAGH -- I refer to a study by the American National Research Council where some of the greatest minds in the United States reviewed the evidence last year.

The PRESIDENT -- Order! As an example, I am not able to remember that study being raised during the debate by any member who made a contribution to the debate. That is my point exactly.

Mr KAVANAGH -- What if someone had mentioned that there was no evidence of fluoride harming people's mental capacity?

Page 3571

The PRESIDENT -- Order! I remind Mr Kavanagh that during his contribution he had the opportunity to make reference to those very remarks that he wishes to make now. If they were not raised by anyone during their contribution, he really is on thin ice in trying to get them in now. I am reminded that he cannot introduce new material in his summary.

Mr KAVANAGH -- Thank you, President. To summarise, there is considerable evidence of a decrease in IQ in fluoridated areas and, among other things, a sharp increase in osteosarcoma among young males in areas that have been fluoridated.

To refer only to the points that have been made specifically, I will say that while Mr Davis suggested there is no proven link of bone cancer resulting from fluoridation, in fact evidence of that has been printed recently in 2006 or 2007.

It was pointed out that standards of dental care are very poor in Victoria and should be improved. The point of those who do not support fluoridation is that there are better and safer ways to achieve that.

To just finish on one point, there have been a lot of comments made that the bill does not provide for compulsory voting. In fact there has been no reason given for that by speakers who have reached that conclusion. It is not a conclusion that I would reach on the basis of the bill. In summary, there is good evidence that fluoride is harmful to people's health, and that it is of minimal help in avoiding or preventing tooth decay. The bill seeks to invoke our democratic principle of people deciding for themselves whether substances which are of dubious benefit should be added to their water supply.

The PRESIDENT -- Order!

On a further point, the last three points Mr Kavanagh raised were well within the bounds of his ability to summarise the debate which has just taken place, because he referred to contributions that people had made. The concern was that he was introducing new material. As I say, that is for future reference.

House divided on motion:

Ayes, 21
Kavanagh, Mr (Teller)

Noes, 19

Motion agreed to.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Media 2008-04-22 South-West Helicopter

PRESS RELEASE: South-West Helicopter - DLP thanks Govt

22 April 2008

Peter Kavanagh MLC for Western Victoria said today, " I congratulate and thank the Victorian government for finally agreeing to implement a rescue helicopter service for Western Victoria."

"Congratulations are also due to all those who worked successfully for this outcome. Keith Meerbach and Dominique Fowler are among many people who devoted great time and effort to introduce this essential service," Mr Kavanagh said.

"Denis Napthine, John Vogels, David Koch and Hugh Delahunty were all active in the campaign. Over the last year and a half I have also worked to achieve this outcome," Mr Kavanagh said. (please see Hansard reports attached below)

"The rescue helicopter service will benefit the sick and injured in Western Victoria. By decreasing the time required to obtain specialist care it will save lives and reduce pain and suffering. As I have pointed out many times, Western Victoria should never have been the only region of the state to be without a dedicated rescue helicopter service," Mr Kavanagh said.

For further comment please call Peter Kavanagh, DLP Member for Western Victoria, on 03 5222 1503.

Hansard 2008-03-12 South-West Helicopter

Title: Emergency services: south-western Victoria helicopter
Activity: Questions without Notice
Date: 12 March 2008
Page 641

12 March 2008 COUNCIL

Page 641

Emergency services: south-western Victoria helicopter

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- My question is for the Minister for Planning, representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in the other place, and relates to a rescue helicopter for western Victoria. On Thursday, 28 February, representatives of the south-west, led by Dominique Fowler and Keith Meerbach, came to the steps of Parliament. They provided evidence that a rescue helicopter

Page 642

is needed in the south-west more than 400 times a year. They also movingly and powerfully recounted experiences of illnesses and injuries being exacerbated by delays due to the lack of a dedicated emergency helicopter service. Will the government now reconsider its position and take action to ensure that western Victoria does not remain the only region of the state which does not have its own rescue helicopter service?

Hansard 2007-09-20 South-West Helicopter

Title Keith Meerbach
Activity Members Statements
Date 20 September 2007
Page 2851

20 September 2007 COUNCIL

Page 2851

Keith Meerbach

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- I wish to take the opportunity to commend the actions of Mr Keith Meerbach of south-western Victoria, who has been organising support for a south-west-based emergency helicopter service. Recently Mr Meerbach's sister-in-law was injured in a road accident. Due to the lack of a south-west-based emergency helicopter service, the injured lady was forced to wait for 4 hours before being airlifted to Melbourne for emergency brain surgery. Her Melbourne surgeon observed that the delay in treatment was detrimental to her health. Unfortunately, this lady was only one of many in similar situations.

I understand that local member Denis Napthine, the member for South-West Coast in the other place, is to present a very large petition calling for a south-west-based emergency helicopter service. That

Page 2852

petition was organised by Mr Meerbach. I commend Mr Meerbach on his initiative, concern and loyalty, not only to his sister-in-law but to all the citizens of the south-west.

Hansard 2007-06-06 South-West Helicopter

Title: APPROPRIATION (2007/2008) BILL and BUDGET PAPERS 2007-08
Activity: Second Reading
Date: 6 June 2007
Page 1581

………………….Although I have raised this matter in the past, Western Victoria Region remains the only region in the state to lack an emergency helicopter service.
I thank the Premier, Mr Bracks, and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in the other place, Mr Cameron, for their correspondence on this matter, but I urge the government to reconsider its position. Early treatment following a serious injury is vital. Western Victoria
Region needs an emergency helicopter service. I ask the government to be a leader in this matter and address the issue as a matter of priority. ……………….

Hansard 2007-04-19 South-West Helicopter

Title: Emergency services: Warrnambool helicopter
Activity: Questions without Notice
Date: 19 April 2007
Page 894

19 April 2007 COUNCIL

Page 894

Emergency services: Warrnambool helicopter

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- My question is to the Minister for Planning representing the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in the other place. Western Victoria needs an emergency helicopter service. It is the only part of Victoria not to have one. In view of the capacity of an emergency helicopter service to rescue people and to convey them to specialist services, thereby preventing deaths and minimising the impact of injuries; the potential for alternative uses, like helping to fight bushfires and maybe even helping the police; and the demonstrated willingness of companies to massively subsidise the cost of such a service, will the government change its position of requiring proponents in western Victoria to develop a business plan, and will it assume the mantle of leadership that the people of Victoria expect from it and take action to develop an emergency helicopter service for western Victoria?

After all, would that not make western Victoria a better place to live, work and raise a family?

Hansard 2008-04-08 Relationships Bill

In April 2008 the Legislative Council considered a Bill to officially recognise a range of “domestic” relationships other than marriage.
Mr Kavanagh spoke against the Bill on the basis that marriage deserves a unique place in our legal system because it is conducive to committed fatherhood which is to the very great benefit of children and to our society generally. Mr Kavanagh was at pains to emphasise the freedom of people to form relationships outside of marriage but also the need to protect marriage as an institution.
Mr Kavanagh’s comments in Parliament on Hansard are below:

Activity: Second Reading
Date: 8 April 2008
Page: 29

Page 29

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- The bill before us has often been referred to in the press as a 'gay bill'. In fact it has application to heterosexual as well as homosexual relationships. All of us here aspire to a free society which surely includes the individual pursuit of happiness. In a free society there is no compulsion to marry and those who choose single life or relationships outside of marriage are entitled to fairness and respect. Those in relationships outside marriage are also free to seek to be seen as committed couples by friends, relatives and acquaintances, if that is their desire.

In late 2006 I was interviewed by a leading Melbourne newspaper. I responded to questions on this topic along the lines of the sentiments just expressed. The newspaper published an article with a heading which said that the DLP (Democratic Labor Party) supports civil unions. This conclusion did not logically follow, however, from the comments I had made.

The DLP's position is that families are a key to Australia's present and future and that the union of a man and a woman, voluntarily entered into for life to the exclusion of others, is the foundation of stable families. In my inaugural speech I noted that those who voted for me hold their own firmly held beliefs. One of those firmly held beliefs is in the value of marriage.

For millennia marriage has been shown to be the best way for societies to fulfil their most important task -- the creation and successful nurturing of the next generation. The DLP feels that marriage has already been placed under excessive stress in recent decades by, among other measures, the Family Law Act, which the DLP considers to be inappropriately named.

Recently I argued in this house that family break-ups have contributed to Australia's housing affordability crisis -- for example, by adding to the demand for accommodation but doing nothing to increase supply.

Accommodation is only one aspect of economic wellbeing that is enhanced by families. Surely the sharing of goods and services increases standards of living, and, even in narrow economic terms, families are the most effective means we have for sharing.

The economic benefits of stable marriage might be seen by simply considering the effect that divorce has on the standard of living of the individuals concerned. It was correctly pointed out to me, after my contribution on the relationship between marriage and the demand for accommodation, that an increasing reticence to marry has also had a detrimental impact on people. That growing reticence to marry is, no doubt, more a product of our culture than of our laws, but of course our culture is informed and partly shaped by our laws. The benefits of a culture of strong, stable marriage are much more profound and diverse than merely the economic implications.

There are many other social aspects that could be referred to in demonstrating the importance of marriage to the future wellbeing of our country. One of these is the contribution of stable marriage to fatherhood. Unfortunately, it is not always possible, even in a culture of strong marriage, for every child to have a father in his or her life. It is, however, almost always desirable. Fatherhood does not make any man perfect but children benefit enormously from having a father. Can it be doubted that the lifetime commitment of a man to his children and, wherever possible, to their mother, is beneficial to his children? As a teacher of boys in high schools I noticed that it was often obvious from their behaviour which boys had fathers in their lives and which did not. I know of some fine young people of good character who have grown up without a father in their lives. I mean no disrespect to them at all; they deserve our admiration. The point, however, is that they have overcome a disadvantage.

Just as fatherhood is enhanced by the lifetime commitment inherent in marriage so the decline of fatherhood is partly a consequence of legislation and a developing culture that has weakened marriage and therefore families.

In my view Australia is undergoing the beginnings of an epidemic of loneliness. This is also in part a consequence of the damage done to families.

In giving sexual relationships other than marriage official status on the basis of sexual relationship per se, this bill would likely have the effect of making marriage merely one of several options and may well further erode marriage. Indeed, this point was accepted by Ms Pennicuik in her defence of the bill. I accept the government's claim that it is not intending to create new forms of marriage through this bill.

However, it seems likely to me, given the marriage-like obligations imposed on de facto couples over recent years both by the incremental changes to legislation that Mr Hall referred to earlier and by judicial interpretation, that under this bill marriage-like obligations, stronger than those presently envisaged, will eventually be imposed on those registrants who are in sexual relationships. In my opinion, in the future those registrants, contrary to their intentions, are likely to have imposed on them many of the obligations of marriage.

I am concerned about the implications of this bill for human rights because it minimises the requirement of voluntariness as a condition to assuming lifelong obligations. I also feel that many of those who support

Page 30

the bill now may in the future regret their current enthusiasm.

It might have been preferable to recognise the people in relationships rather than the relationships themselves. Why not simply create a register in which all people may mutually register to receive benefits such as superannuation entitlements, inheritance privileges in the event of death, automatic medical and other powers of attorney in the case of disability, and privileged access if either party is hospitalised, without making registration dependent on a sexual relationship? Why not allow people to register, without even asking if they are in a sexual relationship? Why not allow old friends, siblings or other relatives or lovers, whether heterosexual or homosexual, to register without asking the nature of their relationship and without making a sexual relationship a prerequisite to registration?

In discussions about this bill there have been claims about the rights and privileges of marriage. In my opinion very few rights are bestowed by marriage. It seems to me that marriage is actually much more about accepting responsibilities, duties and obligations than about gaining rights. However, it also seems to me that even more than that, marriage is an institution for the benefit of children.

We all know and love people who are in relationships outside marriage. Their happiness is as important as that of any other adults. I think we all hope they find the happiness they seek, but we should not approach creating legal structures to accommodate people in these relationships in ways which risk doing harm to marriage, an institution which has long been and remains the primary and best method we have for creating, raising and nurturing new and future generations.


Peter Kavanagh MLC
Member for Western Victoria
Parliament of Victoria

"La Cabine"
2nd Floor
1 Yarra Street
Geelong VIC 3220

Ph: 03 5222 1503
Fax: 03 5222 8677

Email: peter.kavanagh@parliament.vic.gov.au
Blog: http://peterkavanagh.blogspot.com/
Site: http://www.dlpwestvic.org/

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