Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 March 2005 2005) . . Page.. 816 ..
deleterious to health. Perhaps there are some questions about why they might not want to agree with subparagraph (d).
Subparagraph (e): “complies with ACT occupational health and safety law and is consistent with National Occupational Health and Safety Commission recommendations.” I do not think that the government would want to not comply with ACT occupational health and safety law. I think that the government would see it as its job to be consistent with National Occupational Health and Safety Commission recommendations. I am not sure why Mr Corbell wants that one removed. Does he say he does not want to comply with ACT occupational health and safety law, because that is the implication?
Finally, subparagraph (f), and I believe this is the one the Liberal Party representatives here had a problem with. It is interesting to consider why that might be the case. It reads: “in the interest of the health and wellbeing of people with gambling problems, does not permit smoking in the same place as, or in sight of, gaming machines”. I read in today’s Canberra Times the results of a study that says that young people are becoming involved in gambling at a greater rate than the older age group in our society. I would have considered that we would see that as a problem. Most of these people, being under the age of 18, are not yet old enough to enter these premises where drink is available. I would have hoped that we would be concerned about their health and concerned to break that cycle of gambling as soon as we can.
There is a bit of a double standard here in the Assembly. We assert that we care about people’s health and wellbeing. We assert that we actually would like to help people with gambling problems, often in ways that may not seem to be in their best interests. For instance, the very nature of addiction is that people often want to stop at one level and not at another. That is true about smoking; it is true about gambling. I do not think any smoker believes that they are doing something that is good for their health. Nonetheless, they continue it. That is why smokers agree, in that survey and elsewhere, with the idea that there may be very few places where they can smoke and that they might have to have a few discomforts in order to have that cigarette.
I am pleased to say that we have had emails from the Cancer Council ACT, the ACT AMA and the tobacco taskforce. Each has provision in their mission statements to ensure the right of non-smokers to smoke-free air. The Cancer Council’s position is that passive or environmental tobacco smoke is deleterious and that smoking should be prohibited in all public areas, including in all indoor work places and restaurants and on public transport. The primary concern of these societies is the health of people in the community. It is difficult to see how the government can hold its head up. The government’s amendment so innocuous, it is hard to reject it. I am disappointed that the government has felt it necessary to move the amendment.
Amendment agreed to.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question now is that Dr Foskey’s motion, as amended, be agree to.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.05): No one is saying that the removal of smoking from inside buildings is not a good thing. This debate has been about what constitutes an