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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . .

Page.. 849..


adoption laws provide practical support, legal recognition or civil rights to same-sex couples and gender-diverse people, they also represent a deep statement of acceptance by society and government. This is extremely important for the LGBTI community. With the history of legal discrimination, societal discrimination and religious discrimination, statements and actions which show support are pertinent.

To conclude, Madam Speaker, I commend this motion and I thank Mr Hinder for bringing it here today. I hope that it will receive unanimous support in this place. Obviously, the opposition's amendment indicates that it will not.

I also commend the Safe Schools Coalition and the work they do to help and support vulnerable LGBTI students in our schools in the ACT and in the 517 schools in which they operate nationally. I hope to see their reach expanding to other schools so that they may lend a helping hand to students in need of help. I hope to see their work continue to reduce stigma and bullying of LGBTI students nationwide.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Drugs—decriminalisation

MR HANSON: Today my question is to the minister for justice. Minister, on 9 February 2016 the Greens leader, Senator Richard Di Natale, called for a national discussion on decriminalising some drugs, including ice. Minister, what is the justice directorate's position relating to decriminalisation of drugs, including ice, and whether decriminalisation of drugs should be the subject of a national discussion?

MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, I will take the question as the Attorney-General, with responsibility for drug policy.

The government has no plans when it comes to decriminalisation. We do, of course, maintain a very strong harm minimisation approach, which is focused on targeting the people who deal drugs, who traffic drugs and who spread the misery of drugs into our community but, at the same time, seeking to adopt a compassionate approach for those who suffer from addiction and need support and diversion to address their addiction.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, are you aware of any members of your government who are pushing for the decriminalisation of ice?

MR CORBELL: As is common in this debate, there are a broad range of views on the issue of prohibition of illicit drugs, but the government's policy position is quite clear. Our focus is on evidence-based policy. Members may recall that last year we substantially revised the thresholds for personal use and the thresholds for trafficking


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