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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (30 July) . . Page.. 3013..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

a substance of no set concentration without real quality assurance and which, whether effective or not, would have some deleterious health impacts. Consequently this bill does put the responsibility back on the applicant to apply for permission and to carry the risk of medicating with cannabis. This scheme still requires affirmation from a doctor that the applicant has a specified disease or condition, that cannabis is recommended as a potentially effective treatment, that the risks have been weighed and acknowledged and so on.

The scheme creates three categories for approval, ranging from terminal illnesses, through serious and debilitating conditions that are not defined as terminal. Category 3 conditions that may be chronic and debilitating would be defined in regulations and require a medical declaration from two doctors. This scheme also sets up a number of safeguards in regard to criminal offences and in regard to stockpiling the drug. It provides for a licensing scheme to allow an approved person to grow cannabis for medical use or for another designated person to grow it for them. The quantities that can be grown or stored under such a licence are strictly limited.

Finally, in working through this bill, I draw the Assembly's attention to the provision for a review after two years. I think we are all aware that a number of cannabinoid drugs are being developed, but they are not yet freely or cheaply available. The situation may be quite different in a couple of years. In that context, it makes sense to look at the benefits and costs of the scheme, its impact on the lives of applicants and the availability of other, more regulated, forms of the drug.

I would like to flag with members that we are interested in working with them in ensuring that this regime is effective and manageable when the bill is passed. Any constructive discussion and amendments would be welcomed.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Land (Planning and Environment) (Unit Developments) Amendment Bill 2004

Ms Tucker, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS TUCKER: (10.51): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present, on behalf of the Greens, the Land (Planning and Environment) (Unit Developments) Amendment Bill 2004. This bill is one step towards mechanisms that ensure we maintain a stock of affordable housing in our community. As the Affordable Housing National Research Consortium said in their 2001 report, Policy options for stimulating private sector investment in affordable housing across Australia:

Affordability is a complex issue, yet it can perhaps best be dealt with using a benchmark known as 'housing stress'. A conservative setting of the benchmark, specifically chosen in order not to overstate the problem shows that households in


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