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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 104..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

change is aware that it is coming and is ready to direct inquiries appropriately. Procedures should and must be developed so that this change is clear to the 6,000-odd annual applicants, and information must be readily available explaining how the necessary documentation is obtained.

There is the potential for an unintended consequence of this change to greatly increase the number of administrative inquiries to the police from the general public, and I am sure the last thing members want or the minister wants is to see police officers spending more and more time at the counter or in front of computers instead of getting out onto the important task of policing our community. This could be avoided to some extent with a bit of advance preparation and forethought.

The final change covered by this bill is to the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1975 and, like the other changes contained in the bill, is uncontroversial and should be supported. I am pleased to support the Regulatory Services Legislation Amendment Bill.

At approximately 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.

Adjournment

Directions ACT

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.59): I would like to take this opportunity to speak about the efforts of Directions ACT, which, as I am sure members know, is a drug and alcohol centre committed to reducing the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs by the provision of information and education, clean injecting equipment, practical health interventions and counselling, referral, support and detoxification services.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Directions ACT at the end of last month, and meet with their executive director Carol Mead and some of her staff. I know that other members have been approached and invited there in recent times and have taken up the invitation. The visit was very informative for me and was an eye-opener about the nature of the drug problem in Canberra and the attempts of Directions ACT to reduce the harm inflicted on drug users and others.

Directions ACT provides a range of services, including detoxification, outreach services and a medical clinic. The centre also runs meetings of Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The centre runs on a harm minimisation model, as opposed to an abstinence model, meaning that its focus is on minimising harm to drug users and others. In some cases, this may involve detoxification and other concerted efforts to ensure abstinence. In other cases, this may involve the provision of medical equipment to minimise the spread of diseases associated with drug use. The medical clinic is particularly important, as workers at the centre often find that drug users do not disclose their drug use to their own GP. The medical centre at Directions ACT ensures that patients are treated with full knowledge of their drug use.

I must say that I have great respect for those workers in Directions ACT and other similar bodies who are on the front line of the battle to alleviate drug problems. It is


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