Page 3486 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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Amendment agreed to.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6 agreed to.

Clauses 7 to 12, by leave, taken together.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (5.28): I move amendment No 9 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3500].

Amendment No 9 relates to possessing multiple small quantities of different kinds of relevant substances. I want to speak very briefly to Mr Hanson’s earlier comments in relation to this matter. Clearly, we had to put something in here in relation to those people who may have multiple small quantities of different substances. I believe that this amendment strikes the right balance between ensuring that we continue to take that harm reduction approach to people who have substances for their own personal use and not criminalising those people, and recognising that we need to keep that in balance, as we have with the amounts. This amendment also speaks to offence notices and the way that they would be set out. In the interests of time I will not go through all of that detail.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (5.29): I have outlined why we will not be supporting this. It actually increases the amount of drugs that you can have available, although, with the individual amounts, it reduces the amount. Because you allow those drugs, meth and heroin, concurrently, in terms of the total volume of drugs, it actually increases the drugs you can have available. It is taking a step towards where the Greens want to go, without going quite so far. We will not be supporting it.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (5.30): I move amendment No 1 to Ms Stephen-Smith’s amendment No 9 circulated in my name [see schedule 4 at page 3509]. I present a supplementary explanatory statement to the amendment.

This amendment operates with the same function as proposed new section 171(2)(a). It seeks effectively to decriminalise possession of drugs by creating an exemption for all adults to the offence of possessing drugs for personal use. In effect, any adult who is found to be in possession of a drug of dependence cannot be prosecuted for their possession of the drug. This provides a clear alternative to the government’s position of retaining penalties in the form of fines and compulsory attendance—

Madam Speaker, I might seek your guidance. I think I am—

Ms Stephen-Smith: No.

MR DAVIS: We are all over the shop today, friends, because there are so many amendments. This is the legislative review mechanism?

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