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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1376..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

question mark about how relevant the experience in Sydney will be to what happens in the ACT.

The clientele of that facility in Sydney is very different to the one that might be expected in the ACT. The dynamics will be different. (Extension of time granted.) The experience there is likely to be different to the ACT experience and, after discussion with the people there, I think that the relevance of this experience to a heroin trial in the ACT is very limited indeed. People I spoke to did not see their facility as being in any way related to the concept of a prescribed or regulated supply of drugs to registered addicts. They did not see the concepts working hand in hand or capable of operating from the same facility. So, I question the link that the ACT government has made between these things.

Mr Stanhope: I haven't, Gary. You misunderstand our position on this.

MR HUMPHRIES: All right, I look forward to you clarifying your position. But you have indicated that you will not proceed with an injecting place in the ACT until the New South Wales trial is over.

Mr Stanhope: That is true.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am not sure what relevance there is that means you need to wait.

Mr Stanhope: But not a heroin trial.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am pleased to hear that, Mr Stanhope, because I do not think that that should be a precondition at all for the trial proceeding in the ACT. I have said this before and I will say it again: the essential precondition within the ACT is that we ask the ACT community what it thinks about the matter. Having said that, that is the only precondition that I think ought to stand.

As I said at the outset of my remarks, I do not think that any one task group, no matter how well composed or resourced, will have the answers to these issues. They are difficult issues that have defeated much better people in other places. We need to involve the broader community in the process of discussion about these issues, and we need to have a process which is broad enough and well enough placed for us to be able to understand how communities will deal with these issues as solutions are brought forward. Of the many choices available to us I think this is the best one in the circumstances. Once again, I indicate the support of the opposition for this motion.

MS TUCKER (8.48), in reply: I would like to respond to a couple of things, particularly Mr Stanhope's response. He is saying that the government supports this motion, but he has said that he will announce next week such a task force's terms of reference. My motion asks that the terms of reference be developed with the community. There has to be community involvement and ownership of this process right from the beginning if, indeed, it is to be modelled on the poverty task group, which is what my motion calls for.


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