Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (10 March) . .
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Smoke-Free Public Places Amendment Bill 2016
Debate resumed from 18 February 2016, on motion by Ms Fitzharris:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.39): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill. It has always been the case that we will endeavour to reduce smoking rates in our community. I recognise that this has been an effort of the government as well. This is another step in that process.
This is an area that across the nation has been an area of policy; there has been a national endeavour to reduce smoking rates. This bill specifically, though, addresses the issue of smoking in public places or at events. It amends the Smoke-Free Public Places Act 2003.
The bill states that the Chief Minister and minister may declare a public place or an event smoke free. The declarations will be made through a disallowable instrument, which I think is important because it means each individual case can be subject to debate in this place as required. The Chief Minister and minister must consult prior to any such declaration. The bill does not explicitly state who that consultation is with, but it would be assumed that it would be event owners and organisers, place managers and so on. Some clarification of that would have been useful, but nonetheless it is important that the requirement for consultation is addressed in the legislation.
When a public place is declared smoke free, designated areas may also be designated as smoking areas. These have a range of restrictions on them, similar to spaces where alcohol is served. The DOSAs, as they are called, are designated outdoor smoking areas. As for those areas in our pubs, cafes and clubs, entertainment cannot be provided in these areas, signage is required and so on.
We will stay alive to this legislation and look at what events and places are declared by the minister. We will then engage in that debate. It would be useful if the opposition could be consulted to prevent any unnecessary debate in this place should an area that is going to be designated or an event to be designated appear to be one that may be controversial. But as I stated, we will be supporting this legislation.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.43): Australia has long been a world leader in addressing the dangers of tobacco smoking. Smoking tobacco is recognised as one of the largest preventable causes of death and disease in Australia. Each year smoking kills an estimated 15,000 Australians and costs Australia $31½ billion in social and economic costs.
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