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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 278..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

something more extensive, but for the time being it seems to be a sensible way for venting information available to the Assembly. It is worth noting that, particularly if an appropriation bill occurs before April or May, it is fairly unlikely that many firm decisions will have been made to take money from the Treasurer's Advance, so we might not get much information out of this provision in the early part of the financial year, but it is worth having on the table.

Proposed new clause 6 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Drugs of Dependence Amendment Bill 2001 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 11 December 2001, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (6.08): Mr Speaker, the government will be supporting this bill. However, I want to put on the record that we do have some concerns about the serious nature of this matter, first, on behalf of those who may need access to these drugs, and, second, because of the very serious nature of the drugs themselves. I am not aware of why there is this urgency, because it has never been raised with me, and I spoke to the members of the previous government-

Mr Pratt: Old habits.

Mrs Cross: Don't laugh too loudly, or he will be upset.

Mr Hargreaves: How about the opposition? Is the opposition going to support it?

MR SPEAKER: Order. Why is it, Mr Smyth, that everybody wants to talk when you want to talk?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, what can I say? It is clear that old habits die very hard, and they just do not like what I have to say.

MR SPEAKER: You have the floor, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Notwithstanding that, I have spoken to the Chief Minister and asked him whether he will report back to the Assembly regularly on how many times this phone-in service is accessed, and whether we might actually look at it as an Assembly to make sure that the system is not being abused.

The other thing that does worry me is the lack of consultation taking place. I have actually had some correspondence from a constituent who has some concerns about the bill, its effect on users, and its effect on the staff and the practitioners who have to use it. With that in mind, the Chief Minister did agree that he would report back regularly to the


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