Page 1579 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022

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smoking in disadvantaged communities. There is also Worldview Foundation’s work on a pre-release non-Indigenous supplement, along with post-release activity support.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, has the ACT government costed the impact of tobacco on the ACT community?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take that question on notice. I am not sure whether we have done a specific costing, but we do know, of course, that tobacco smoking is and has been one of the most significant impacts on the health system and on people’s individual health. It remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Australia. There is a lot of work nationally, of course, about the impact of tobacco smoking on the health of Australians and the cost of that to our community. I will take Mr Braddock’s question about whether we have a specific costing in the ACT on notice.

Federal government—territory rights

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, given the federal election result, is the ACT in a better position to have its territory rights restored? What is the ACT government doing in anticipation of this change?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Pettersson for the question. The clear answer is yes, we are in a better position to have territory rights restored, both in the house and in the Senate. It would be necessary for a repeal bill to pass both houses to remove the clause from the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act that prevents the ACT, and the equivalent clause in the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act that prevents the Northern Territory parliament, from making laws with respect to voluntary assisted dying.

Every other jurisdiction in Australia has now gone down this legislative path, to the extent that there are now six working models or legislative examples. We are in a position to commence work on the preparation of a consultation document and our own draft legislation that would enable voluntary assisted dying in the territory. This needs to begin with a comparative examination of the laws passed in the six states and to draw from the evidence and community views heard during the end of life choices inquiry held in the last term of this place.

In short, we want to be ready with a draft piece of legislation by the time the federal parliament completes its process around, hopefully, removing the legislative barrier to the territory parliament debating this. We do not want a linear process where we wait for that to happen and then we commence work. We will commence work now so that we are ready to debate this matter as soon as we are allowed to.

There will of course be a need for due process in relation to any piece of legislation that comes into this place. That would, inevitably, given its complexity and seriousness, involve a referral to an Assembly committee for examination, but we need to have a draft piece of legislation ready for that committee to examine. That work gets underway as soon as possible.

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