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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (4 August) . . Page.. 3453..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

to give certain people rights but we seem to be taking it away from others. If those concerns are genuine, if everyone is genuinely concerned about the welfare of our children, why is it we are caving in on what is apparently a minor issue, according to the statistics that Mr Wood referred to earlier, which will affect 200 venues in the ACT? In fact, none of them has lobbied me on this issue. I know from the conversations I have had with some of them that they are not as concerned about this issue as they were about the smoking legislation, and they are getting used to that now-they are adjusting to it.

I am very reluctant to support these amendments simply on a matter of principle. If we genuinely care about the welfare of our children-and I ask members, many of whom have children, to think about this-why is it that the majority of members are considering supporting amendments that would just prolong the damage?

As Ms Dundas alluded to earlier, this legislation is important because it is legal to sell tobacco in Australia to people 18 years and over. Children under that age are accessing these vending machines and therefore that is an illegal access to a legal product. So I agree with Mr Smyth: I think we should ban tobacco altogether. I am prepared to do that. Let's take that giant step. Let's ban it. I want to see if the major parties in this town support such a step. I think you are right-this is a bigger issue. Will you take the step? I wonder.

I doubt very much that the major parties would have the guts to support such a measure, which is why we need to take little steps. I do not want to take the little steps-I would like to ban this now in the same way that I wanted to ban smoking sooner in enclosed public places. But we had to negotiate. So I am very reluctant on principle to support these amendments because I think all we are doing is prolonging the damage to our children.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Childhood obesity

Pursuant to standing order 128, Ms MacDonald fixed the next day of meeting for the moving of her motion.

Animal Legislation (Penalties) Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 13 May 2004, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS DUNDAS (4.48): I thought there would be a little more time before we moved onto this legislation, which has quite wide-ranging effects. In some ways it is quite controversial. I was discussing some of the issues just moments ago. This bill is intended to put the maximum penalties for violence against animals on a more comparable footing with the maximum penalties for similar offences against people. The Democrats have

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