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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 20 May 1993) . . Page.. 1668 ..

MR BERRY: You had to win it because you were the Government and you had the numbers. I have noticed that some problem areas have developed in the legislation which will be the subject of discussion later on. As far as policing is concerned, no, there has not been a concerted attempt to go out there and catch people selling tobacco to young people.

Mr Humphries: It goes on, though, doesn't it?

MR BERRY: Young people do smoke and they are addicted to it.

Mrs Carnell: Not to start with. That is the point.

MR BERRY: They are addicted to it once they have been smoking for a little while. It is a problem and somebody is supplying it to them. In many cases I suspect that older people are purchasing it for them.

Mr Humphries: Often they are buying it themselves.

MR BERRY: There may be cases. If you know of any, please report them. Report them if you have some information that will stack up, not just anecdotal information that you think there are children smoking out there and you think that somebody down the road is selling them cigarettes. It has to be information that - - -

Mr Humphries: Should I arrest one and bring him in to you?

MR BERRY: You can try that. If you can provide information that will stack up we will be able to do something. I will go back to my earlier point. The most important part has been to take the community with us in relation to the matter. If there is strong evidence that we need to provide a strong inspectorate to deal with these matters it, too, will have to stand up against other priorities in health. There is the budget issue. It is all right for oppositions to complain about things not being done - we have heard that in relation to a whole range of other matters - but they all cost money and they all have to stand up as priorities in the budget context.

If there is somebody out there who is selling tobacco to under-age people and you can give us the evidence on them we will deal with it, but there is no point in waving around some sort of anecdotal evidence. If you have some evidence, give it to me. Have you any evidence?

Mrs Carnell: Yes. Have a look at your school study. Have a look at the study of the - - -

MR BERRY: No, no. Who was selling it to the children, where was it and who were the witnesses? Give it to me.

Mrs Carnell: Get rid of the legislation - - -

MR BERRY: No, no. You give me the - - -

Mrs Carnell: That is not the question.

MR BERRY: Ha, here we are; more crying wolf. Give us the evidence.

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