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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (10 March) . .

Page.. 944..

believes the person would be likely to commit further offences against the animal or any other animal. However, we know from the RSPCA that some people whose animals are seized in relation to alleged neglect and cruelty offences actually obtain more animals before the conclusion of the proceedings, which are then vulnerable to the same neglect or cruelty. To correct this unintended gap in the legislation, the bill provides for the court to make an interim order at the beginning of proceedings, prohibiting the person from obtaining any further animals until the proceedings against them are concluded. We have also corrected a problem in the operation of the existing power so that an order made at sentencing to prohibit a person from owning an animal is not dependent on the person owning an animal at the time of sentencing.

With this bill, the government is sending a strong message that this community will not tolerate animal neglect or cruelty. At the outset of this speech I mentioned a motion calling on the government to develop a long-term strategy and legislation on animal welfare. I am pleased to be able to deliver on one part of the motion today. While the motion asked for a strategy to be delivered by March, I ask for members' patience as the government works with our partners and animal welfare in refining that strategy. I look forward to being able to bring forward the ACT government's animal welfare strategy shortly.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Smoke-Free Legislation 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) (11.56): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

It is with pleasure that I introduce the Smoke-Free Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. This bill will protect the health of the ACT community from the potential harms associated with personal vaporisers, also more commonly known as electronic or e-cigarettes. It will mark important progress in the ACT government's commitment to protect the health of the community, particularly children under the age of 18 years.

The measures outlined in this bill are designed to regulate the sale, use and promotion of personal vaporisers in line with traditional tobacco products. The bill represents a prudent precautionary approach by the ACT government to prevent the widespread uptake of personal vaporisers in our community, including by non-smokers and children, whilst still allowing adults the freedom to purchase personal vaporisers that do not contain nicotine from licensed tobacco sellers.

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