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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1361..


MS MacDONALD (continuing):

It is of great concern to me that we still have a vacant call centre. It had been open for less than two months when Ansett went under. It was not the only call centre Ansett had just opened. I believe they had opened one in Adelaide as well, but I do not believe Mr Smyth was responsible for that one opening.

Worldwide, there is a downturn in the tourism market. This is a slump which a lot of people around the world are experiencing. I hope it is something that we can get through soon. There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from what has happened to Ansett. I hope that future governments, including my government, can learn from the mistakes that have happened with the Ansett collapse. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Drugs and other substances-use

MS TUCKER (6.12): I move the motion circulated in my name, which reads:

That this Assembly, recognising the need for a co-ordinated, cross-sectoral approach to understanding, reducing the incidence of, and reducing harm associated with problematic use of drugs and other substances in our community, and seeking to draw together the knowledge and experience of the community service sector (including non-drug specific services), government, and people who have experienced personally or by association problematic use of drugs and other substances, calls on the Government to, by the end of August 2002:

(1) establish a Task Group on problematic use of drugs and other substances, modelled on the collaborative approach of the 1999-2000 Poverty Task Group;

(2) develop the terms of reference and appropriate plans to resource for the Task Group in consultation with relevant community members and groups;

(3) provide a progress report to the Assembly.

Mr Speaker, this motion calls for the establishment of a substance abuse taskforce. This idea first came up in June 2001 when I was chairing a meeting, in the Assembly reception room, of a number of community groups who wanted to have a discussion about the broad impact of drugs and substance abuse. That forum was called "Drugs affect all sectors of our community". There was a good turnout of people to that meeting, which, from memory, was called by Families and Friends of Drug Law Reform. The groups represented there included the Tuggeranong Community Service and the Australian Education Union. Also present were the Director of Marymead, Sue Mickleburgh; Bishop Pat Power; Margaret Morton, from the Association of Carers; Lisa Oxman from Vision for Youth Through Knowledge and Education, which is VINE, and a public servant from City Mental Health.

The idea of a substance abuse taskforce was first thought of at that meeting. It was seen to be a very good thing that those groups had got together, even for just one meeting, to talk about the impact of substance abuse. It was also a really good indication of how widely the impact of substance abuse is felt. For example, Maureen Cane, from the Tuggeranong Community Service, basically talked about how it impacted on the work of


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