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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 294..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

The committee is undertaking this inquiry to open up robust discussions regarding possible approaches and solutions and to facilitate discussions at the working level between health care workers and policy makers to try to find a real solution to this problem.

The way in which Australia responded to HIV/AIDS is commendable, but it still remains a problem. Australia led the world in its response to this epidemic. Worldwide in 2002, five million people were newly infected with HIV. Although the epidemic started in Australia at the same time as it started in the US, North America now has an estimated 980,000 people living with HIV/AIDS whereas Australia and New Zealand only have an estimated 15,000. It is time to confront hepatitis in the same manner that we confronted HIV/AIDS and the committee hopes to facilitate some of this discussion.

MS MacDONALD ( Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services) (11.44): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak to this matter.

Leave granted.

MS MacDONALD: I thank members for granting me leave-it was very gracious of them to do so. I rise to speak briefly in support what Ms Tucker has said about this inquiry. It is interesting to note that it is proposed to conduct the inquiry in what I think is a good manner in that the committee will not necessarily be running hearings as such but will be looking at running a forum so as to get as many interested members as possible within the community to come and talk to us about the issues. From my point of view, I am looking forward to hearing feedback from the community about all the different issues that will be raised.

I do have some concerns. I am hoping to get information from different groups about how they view things, such as the potential for people who get a needle from a vending machine to then possibly hold up a retail outlet. This would raise the question of where we should locate these sorts of vending machines. In principle, I think the idea is good but I think a lot of practical things need to be sorted through before we could look at implementing such a notion.

Community Based Sentences (Transfer) Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 12 December 2002, on motion by Mr Wood:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11.46): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting this bill because it is commonsense legislation. The purpose of the bill is to allow those on community-based sentences to be able to move around the country freely in participating jurisdictions, and that will be achieved by registration between jurisdictions. There are clearly hundreds of offenders who move about jurisdictions and we believe it is sensible for them to complete their sentence where they live, where circumstances of employment or a fresh start may have taken them.


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