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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3142..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

commitment we have to building flights into Canberra. I am very pleased that, at the end of the day, we did provide this level of support because, as it transpires, the level of support and the ACT government's involvement was crucial in sealing the deal.

It turns out, I am advised today, that Fijians have very high regard for acts of trust and faith. They believe that the ACT government's commitment was an act of trust and faith, so much so that Mr Victor Sharan, the regional general manager of Air Pacific, was adamant that the deal would not have come about without the support of the ACT government. This was underscored by the owner of the airport, Mr Terry Snow, who also said that this deal would not have taken place without the support of the ACT government.

The Fijian government places great stock in this particular exercise. The Fijian High Commissioner attended the launch at the airport today, as did one of the Fijian ministers and the manager of Fijian business and tourism development. So members should be aware that the Fijian government is right behind this, the ACT government is right behind this, and it is a material demonstration that we are taking genuine, concrete steps forward in tourism.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Smoking in pubs and clubs

MR WOOD: Yesterday a couple of questions were held over, one of which was from Mrs Cross about smoking. It is quite a long answer. For Mrs Cross's benefit, I will read it. The phasing out of exemptions on 1 December 2006 will result in all enclosed public places in the ACT becoming non-smoking areas. That was the clear intent of the Assembly and the purpose of the legislation when it was enacted. There are no changes to the exemption system up to December 2006, except that any exemption that is granted now will end on 1 December 2006, rather than three years after the date of granting.

Absolutely no changes have been made in relation to the size of the area in which smoking in exempt premises is permitted. It is still the maximum of 25 per cent of a dining area or 50 per cent of a public area of a licensed premises. There have been discussions with hospitality representatives about aspects of the new legislation and this may require clarification or guidelines.

One significant issue has been the reference in the legislation to prohibiting smoking in places that are "completely or substantially enclosed". Clearly what is meant by "substantially enclosed" is fundamental to the understanding of the scope of the legislation. Proprietors have therefore been seeking more information about that definition. Work is currently underway in developing a clearer definition that will apply to the new legislation when it takes effect in December 2006.

The government is fully committed to seeing smoking completely banned from enclosed public places by 1 December 2006. ACT Health is not in the process of drafting guidelines to allow enlarged smoking areas in public places.


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