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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 4 May 1995) . . Page.. 227 ..


It simply does not mean that they are going to be calling the police. The ambulance officers have been very busy and I understand, thank goodness, that there have been no more recent deaths in Canberra. I have advised Councillor O'Neill that informing people what to do in the case of overdose remains a key strategy in dealing with the purer form of heroin in our community.

I would also hasten to add that this message is targeted at those people who, despite all the education and sanctions surrounding drug use, still choose to use illicit drugs. Our primary message remains, “Do not use them; they are not good for you”; but we must understand harm minimisation. I have also advised Councillor O'Neill that, while we share her concern at the illicit use of drugs by younger people, we also recognise that the major drugs of concern in our community remain alcohol and tobacco. They are the ones that are causing the major problems in our community.

I understand that the New South Wales Department of Health and local community leaders in Goulburn are developing a plan to address identified drug issues - something that we would be pleased to be part of. I am also pleased that the ACT Government can participate in a public meeting in Goulburn to address this drug issue. I must admit that I am looking forward to the ACT being more involved in the region in these sorts of areas. We must not assume for a moment that the borders of the ACT either stop or start for these sorts of drug problems. I am hoping that the ACT, through a proposal to set up a cross-border committee looking at areas of health and community care, can become much more involved in the region in these sorts of really important areas.

May I also say, at this stage, that I will be taking any questions that would be addressed to Tony De Domenico, the Deputy Chief Minister.

Acton-Kingston Land Swap

MS McRAE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, even if you had to make the decision on the Acton land swap in a hurry, why was nobody, particularly the non-government group, consulted or spoken to? Does no bureaucrat or member of staff even know the names and telephone numbers of the organisations and who they are? Why did not anyone even have the courtesy to contact them?

MRS CARNELL: Thank you for that question. I do take that criticism very seriously. One of the great problems, as I said yesterday and the day before, and the day before that, for that matter, was the need to make a decision very quickly. I would like to have had the time to contact all of the groups individually; but I think, as the previous Government knows, every single one of those groups knew very well that they were on a short-term lease. Most of them did not have a lease in place at all and were on only a month-to-month tenancy because they had been told, as we have heard already, that the previous Government was planning other things for the site. In fact, we heard yesterday that the previous Government was planning 550 residential units and 20,000 - - -


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