Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3825..
The Assembly voted—
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Tobacco Amendment Bill 2008
Debate resumed from 6 March 2008, on motion by Ms Gallagher:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (8:11): The opposition will be supporting the bill tonight because there is a majority of the bill which we do not have a problem with. There will be some issues, though, that we will be foreshadowing in the house now and that we will revisit after the October election. The opposition does not have a problem, as I said, with the majority of this bill which, amongst other things, seeks to prevent the taking up of smoking, particularly by our young people. The main consideration in this debate is that of health, and so it should be—the centring on the health and wellbeing of all citizens, particularly our young people.
We cannot, however, discount the fact that there are other practical implications to consider regarding point of sale. Many retailers who sell tobacco, which, as I have said before and will keep reiterating, is a legal product sold under licence, are of course small family businesses. The minister contends she has listened to all of them but I know that is a bit of a contradiction because she has said she personally will not speak to major tobacco companies. That is her call. I find that a rather odd position because you cannot say you have consulted and get other people to do that; you need to get face to face with these people to find out where they are coming from. You might absolutely disagree with them but I think, to be selectively choosing whom you talk to, is not full and proper consultation.
I would like to read to members from an email I received—and I think the minister got this as well—from a Mr Kym Lovett, who represents the people who run, I suppose, kiosks, for want of a better word, in Canberra: