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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2298..

DR FOSKEY (continuing):

through Barton and Parkes to Civic. I believe that is another way of overcoming the taxi crisis that we are continually being informed about and which seems to be very much related to traffic from the airport.

People are concerned that bus services will be reduced as a result of budget cuts. They are especially concerned about the wait of one and a half hours on the weekends and evening bus services, should that go ahead. They are concerned that there is more emphasis on developing Canberra as a car city and that this encroaches onto parks, gardens and trees. So these are concerns felt by many of our voters and for this reason I am happy to present this petition and to draw those issues to the Assembly's attention.

Tobacco (Compliance Testing) Amendment Bill 2006

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo-Minister for Health, Minister for Disability and Community Services and Minister for Women) (10.34): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I present today the Tobacco (Compliance Testing) Amendment Bill 2006. Cabinet agreed in principle to the preparation of legislation to enable the conduct of control purchase operations for compliance monitoring and enforcement of the prohibition of the sale of smoking products to persons under the age of 18. Cabinet also agreed that the Cigarette Sales to Minors Enforcement Protocol published by the Victorian Department of Human Services be used as a basis for the drafting of an ACT protocol.

The ACT Tobacco Act 1927 prohibits the sale of smoking to persons under the age of 18. Monitoring and enforcement of this prohibition currently consists of investigating complaints and conducting discreet surveillance of tobacco retail outlets. These strategies have not proved to be effective in detecting offences or in preventing tobacco sales to young people. There is concern over the number of young people smoking in the ACT. Teenage smoking rates in the ACT are particularly high, with 17 per cent of teenagers aged 16 to 17 smoking regularly. The ACT government is concerned about these smoking levels as today's teenage smokers will become the next generation of adult smokers. The younger these teenagers are when they start smoking the more likely they are to be heavier, more addicted to smoking, with a higher probability of succumbing to smoking-related diseases.

The Smoking Behaviours of Australian Secondary Students 2002 report commissioned by the Australian government Department of Health and Ageing, reported that nearly one in five underage smokers purchased their last cigarette from a shop. Fewer than one in five report they are frequently asked to show proof of age when buying cigarettes and more than one in three say they have never been asked to provide proof of age. Studies conducted in both Australia and overseas show that increased retail compliance reduces young people's access to smoking products, therefore being an effective strategy in reducing smoking by young people.

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