Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 195..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
I consider, for example, the requirement in the law - the Motor Traffic Act - that people who ride in cars wear seat belts. There is no doubt that seat belts have contributed very significantly to the saving of lives and the reduction of injury in this country and, indeed, around the world. That, no doubt, motivated legislators years ago to make that compulsory. But it is also true that in a small number of cases seat belts can actually result in the death or serious injury of persons who have worn them. It raises the question of when a person would be required by law to wear an instrument - in this case, a seat belt - which could actually cause them injury and whether in those circumstances, if they were wearing a seat belt, in the event of an accident, they would have some right to come back to the state and perhaps make some legal claim because of a requirement that caused them injury.
So, Mr Speaker, there is a complexity about that argument which I think we need to consider. I think that the parallels between that and vaccination are very strong. If people derive benefits from that and the benefits are profound, and if the reason that people do not vaccinate in nine cases out of 10 is because of carelessness or inadvertence or omission, rather than a positive decision, then there may be a case for saying that we should provide greater protection to the community - perhaps not to the extent of complete compulsion, but perhaps to the extent of placing disincentives in the path of those who might otherwise omit to vaccinate their children. It is a fascinating inquiry. It is unfortunate that all of us cannot sit on it. I very much look forward to seeing the result of that inquiry and hope that it will help the community to an accepted position on what we should do about what is obviously an increasing problem.
MR OSBORNE (11.25), in reply: I thank all the members for their support. Certainly, there were some very worthwhile issues raised. On the one hand, I look forward to the inquiry; but, on the other hand, I do not know whether I have done the right thing in taking it on. I look forward to working with other members on the committee and with other members in the Assembly. I think this is a very valid inquiry. There is one point I want to finish on, Mr Speaker, that I am a little bit worried about. Mrs Carnell, during her speech, said that she looks forward to hearing from the committee as to whether they agree with her. I am a bit worried that, if I do not, she might try to kick me off the committee. Nevertheless, I will wait and see.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR OSBORNE (11.26): I move:
(1) in view of breaches of the voluntary Codes of Practices for `Clubs, On-licensees in the Civic Area' and `Off-licensees in the Civic Area', those Codes of Practices be referred to the