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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 20 May 1993) . . Page.. 1667 ..


.I do not think this Assembly would be surprised if the Government were to do so. You should be disappointed if we did not. I am flagging this issue, so if you have some comments perhaps we had better have them.

I do not think there is much more to be said. There is a whole lot of good action under way on this matter. Let us proceed with it. Let us, in particular, carry on with the education program so that Canberra citizens with solid fuel fires do pay more respect to the environment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.18 to 2.30 pm

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Tobacco Product Sales

MRS CARNELL: My question without notice is to the Minister for Health. I refer the Minister to his expressed intention to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces. Is not the major problem with smoking the large number of under-18-year-olds taking up smoking, particularly women? Can the Minister tell the Assembly why no inspections are carried out by ACT health officials to ensure that tobacco retailers are not selling tobacco products to people under the age of 18? Since the introduction of tough new legislation under the Alliance Government in 1990 to ban the sale of tobacco products to people under the age of 18 and to require retailers of tobacco products to be licensed, why is it that no retailers have been prosecuted for selling cigarettes to under-18s and only one retailer in all that time has been prosecuted for not having a licence?

MR BERRY: Nobody has been caught.

Mr Humphries: Have you tried to catch anybody?

MR BERRY: No, I have not. I do not go out ranging around in the middle of the night watching tobacconists ply their trade.

Mr Kaine: It is in your duty statement, Minister. You should be.

MR BERRY: You have a better knowledge of my duty statement than I have if you think it is in there, but I will have a closer look at that. It is always a question of resources, to provide an inspector 24 hours a day.

Mrs Carnell: You do not have anybody, Wayne.

MR BERRY: Hang on a minute. You ask the question; you get the answer. One of the most important things about this tobacco legislation always has been ensuring that the attitude of the community went with the law-makers in relation to the matter. When the law was introduced in the period of the Alliance Government there was a bit of a contest about who would introduce the legislation first, as I recall, and - - -

Mr Humphries: Yes, and we won it.


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