Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2462..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
There are some fairly broad types of statements and comments there. This type of legislation lends itself to it and maybe it is a shame that I have to introduce this bill here today. Things like this should just be commonsense; things like this should occur in a civilised society; and existing laws, conventions and structures in that society should ensure that, where applicable, these types of things are in force so that society can live in relative harmony. However, if you are going down the path of human rights legislation, an overemphasis on rights to the detriment of responsibilities is not good for any society. Groups like the UN have seen that.
If we did not have a human rights act, there would probably be a good argument that we might not need legislation like this, but we do need it. Most members of the Assembly voted for that, and I think it is very important that we, the United Nations and groups within that recognise that with rights go responsibilities. You cannot have one without the other. The need to counter it is crucially important, and if there are any excesses from the human rights act, a bill like this will counter them. I think it is terribly important that Canberrans realise they have responsibilities as well as rights. This bill simply seeks to achieve that. I commend it to the house and look forward to the debate on it in August.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Tobacco (Vending Machine Ban) Amendment Bill 2004
Ms Dundas , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MS DUNDAS (10.52): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
This bill will prohibit the use of tobacco vending machines in the ACT. This measure will be one more step in ensuring that the ACT has effective and comprehensive tobacco control laws and, in particular, strong legislation that reduces the ability of children to access tobacco products. In 2001 an estimated 15,524 people died in Australia as a result of tobacco smoking. This compares with an estimated 4,270 deaths from illness and injuries associated with excessive alcohol consumption and 821 deaths attributable to illicit drug use.
Tobacco use costs the Australian community at least $21.1 billion per year in social costs, and that includes involuntary smoking. Also in 2001, one in four males and one in five females aged 14 years or over described themselves as regular smokers. We know that young people are most likely to be smoking daily. The age group of 20 to 29 constitutes the highest level of regular smokers. I quote from the National Tobacco Strategy. It says:
Access to tobacco products is an important factor in the uptake of smoking. In Australia...46.7% of 12-17 year old smokers had purchased their last cigarette as a result of illegal sales. This, coupled with the fact that smoking behaviour is well