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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3754..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

money. I have no idea why he thinks that's helpful. He hasn't argued why he thinks it's more helpful. There's no evidence at all to show that it will have any effect in any way on the incidence of drug use.

As I made clear in my initial speech, if you look across Australia, there is no difference in the use of drugs, even though we have such a variety of legal responses and penalties. But what we know absolutely-and the evidence is there to show-is the harm that is created when you bring people into the criminal justice system. It is a failed social policy response from Mr Stefaniak.

Amendment negatived.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (5.52): I move amendment No 3 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3802].

This is a minor consequential amendment to remove schedule 1 of the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 which lists the plants that are prohibited plants under the act. The plants listed in the schedule will be revised during the development of the new regulations in chapter 6.

Amendment agreed to.

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

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Drugs of Dependence Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed from 24 September 2003, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (5.54), in reply: Initially, I was a bit worried that the government was not going to speak to this bill, but the Chief Minister had a chance to do so in relation to one amendment which was consequential to my bill. I do not think, for starters, that his arguments were terribly convincing, although I will say that, unlike his normal self, he did put them in a very civilised way, which makes me think that perhaps the government is merely opposing this bill because it is something that it should have thought of itself.

I think that the government is in a rather good position when it comes to bills like this one-indeed, lots of bills generally-in that, if the opposition thinks that the bill is a good bill it will support the bill. That is why we supported the government's bill in this regard. I think that members of the government have a rather nasty tendency to oppose things for the sake of opposing if they do not think of them themselves.

Let me go to two points that the Chief Minister raised in relation to this bill. Basically, it is about time the amount set out in the infringement notice was increased from $100 to $200. Chief Minister, there is a big argument for consistency and for putting all of these offences in perspective. Obviously, Ms Tucker was not listening when I spoke earlier

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