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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (18 February) . .

Page.. 609..


I table the report on the review of the Workplace Privacy Act 2011. I present the following paper:

Workplace Privacy Act 2011—Review, dated February 2016.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Jones) adjourned to the next sitting.

Smoke-Free Public Places Amendment Bill 2016

Ms Fitzharris, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo—Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Minister for Transport and Municipal Services and Assistant Minister for Health) (12.12): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

It is with pleasure that I introduce the Smoke-Free Public Places Amendment Bill. This bill will introduce a new streamlined approach to declaring smoke-free areas in the ACT. It will be an important milestone in the ACT government's commitment to protect the health of the community and ensure that all Canberrans can enjoy our public amenities without exposure to harmful second-hand smoke.

Smoke-free areas are a vital tool for reducing community exposure to second-hand smoke. It is well documented that there is no safe level of exposure and that exposure can cause a range of adverse health effects, including lung cancer and heart disease. Smoke-free areas also play an important role in de-normalising smoking. Many in our community no longer see smoking as the norm. This is helping to prevent our children and young people taking up the habit. It is also helping smokers who are trying to quit by reducing the social cues to smoke.

Yet the current legal framework for introducing smoke-free areas in the ACT, through primary legislation, has caused long delays in establishing smoke-free areas. This has contributed to the ACT falling behind other jurisdictions that have already introduced smoke-free areas in places like playgrounds and transport waiting areas.

I am pleased to announce that this bill will provide a more flexible and responsive way to create smoke-free areas in the ACT. It allows the Chief Minister and minister to jointly declare a public place or event smoke free in subordinate legislation rather than through time-consuming primary legislation.

Following the passage of this bill, priority will be given to exploring smoke-free options at places used by children and their families, such as playgrounds, sporting fields and bus waiting areas. Canberrans are overwhelming supportive of new


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