Page 2293 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022

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supply reduction and demand reduction, which are the two other pillars of harm minimisation. We have also committed to active monitoring to ensure that our real decriminalisation will achieve our aims, and we will undertake an independent evaluation after two years of operation to ensure we are making the difference we hope to achieve.

On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank: Mr Pettersson for proposing the bill, the select committee for its inquiry report and all of those who provided submissions to the inquiry. Mr Pettersson has truly been a leader in drug law reform in the ACT, doing the long-term, painstaking policy work, stakeholder engagement and advocacy. I commend him for his commitment to improving the lives of Canberrans and his achievement to date.

The government is again in the position of proposing sensible, evidence-based reform that will deliver nation-leading change and build a platform for reducing drug harm into the future. Again, I want to thank all of those involved in the alcohol and other drug and related policy and programs in the ACT for their substantial, ongoing contributions to the ACT’s overarching harm minimisation approach.

Mr Pettersson’s bill, with the government amendments, will help to reduce the stigma experienced by people who use illicit drugs, encouraging more people to come forward and receive support. I am proud to support the passage of this bill in principle in the Assembly today, and look forward to debating the amendments to ensure that its intent is achieved in the best possible way.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.03): The Canberra Liberals will be opposing this legislation. This bill is bad policy, it is bad legislation and, to be frank, it has been put forward without an electoral mandate. Indeed it has turned into a grandstanding exercise between Mr Davis and Mr Pettersson—and now the whole Labor Party and the Greens—in terms of who is the most progressive on drug law reform.

They are playing games on this issue, and it is ridiculous that we are being asked to sign off on a bill today when we do not even know what the amendments will be. We have warring amendments between the Greens and the Labor Party. In fact, the Greens amendments have only just circulated. We are being asked to sign off in

principle today, to write a blank cheque for what are radical law reforms in the drug space, without actually having the amendments before us to debate and agree to.

It is grandstanding. The reality is that this is ideological grandstanding that will lead to real-world implications. It will lead to more drug use, it will lead to more addiction, it will lead to more crime and it will lead to more harm. In the real world—outside Labor Party and Greens party meetings, where I am sure there is wholesale agreement with what is being putting forward—the reality is that more people will die on our streets.

I would like to acknowledge Tom McLuckie, who is in the gallery today, for whom this is not some sort of distant, ideological debate; it is not a grandstanding exercise. For Tom and his family, and those affected by Matthew’s death, this is all too real. It was real for Alison Ryan, who sat in the gallery 12 years ago and listened to Labor members argue against random roadside drug testing—those laws were eventually

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