Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 9 June 2022) . . Page.. 1923 ..
is the shine of safety that toxicologists, medical experts and people who run Victoria Ambulance and so on are warning about. So I caution that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I understand the good intentions here and I understand the case for pill testing, but I think that the risks that will arise will far outweigh the benefits that are being articulated.
The Canberra Liberals obviously have a different view from the government. We stand with our police. We stand with the AFP. We stand with New South Wales Police. We support the comments that we have seen from a range of experts with regard to pill testing. I do not dispute that some of the proposals that have been put forward are well intentioned, but I think that they are naive. They do not take into account the views of the experts, and they risk being very dangerous and causing much greater harm than they seek to resolve.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (11.20): I wish to acknowledge the presence of Bill Bush in the chamber; I had not realised he was here. Family and Friends for Drug Law Reform, particularly Bill Bush and Marion McConnell, have been incredible advocates. As people who have personally been affected by the harm caused by illicit drugs, they understand the evidence. They have looked at the evidence and they are advocating for drug law reform because they know that, as Mr Hanson says, illicit drugs are not safe. They are illicit drugs for a reason. The government will never tell anyone that illicit drugs are safe.
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Cain): Mr Hanson.
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: And pill testing facilities do not tell the people who turn up that their drugs are safe. They would never do that. In fact, that is an opportunity for people who are already intending to take the drug to get access to advice about the risks associated with taking that drug.
I just want to go to a couple of points before I come back to Mr Hanson and poor Ms Lee. Ms Lee keeps trying to tell the Canberra public that the Canberra Liberals are moving in a more progressive direction, and then Mr Hanson turns up and the scare campaign begins. I will address some of the substance of his comments in a moment.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, members!
Mr Hanson: A scare campaign? Are you accusing the police commissioner of a scare campaign?
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Hanson.