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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 19 October 2011) . . Page.. 4704 ..


is the right approach because we should be tough enough to say, “We want a corrections system that is free of drugs”. We in the Canberra Liberals are not going to throw up our hands and say, “It’s too difficult and we’re going to walk away from the problem.” It is difficult and we are going to stick with the problem. We are not going to take the easy way out. We are not going to take an approach that de facto legalises drugs in the prison, when most of the people are in that prison because of their attachment to illegal drugs.

The irony of this should even dawn on Ms Gallagher, who does not seem to get irony very much at all. It is a real problem that we are saying, “You are in prison because of your association with drugs, but while you are in there you can continue to use.” This is not the solution that we need in the ACT and I commend Mr Hanson for his motion today.

Question put:

That Ms Gallagher’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (5.13): On Monday Mr Smyth and I attended a memorial at Weston Park run by the Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. It was the 16th annual commemoration of those who have lost their life through illicit drugs. I would like to recognise Brian and Marion McConnell, who are in the gallery today, and Bill Bush, who I know are very active in this organisation. Indeed, Brian is the president of the Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. It was a very moving ceremony. I think that anybody who attends one of those ceremonies would attest to the overwhelming sense of tragedy and loss shown by friends and families and, in particular, parents who are there to commemorate the loss of a child who has lost their life to illicit drugs.

I think that we all share that sense in this place. There is no question in this debate that there is any sense from the Liberal Party that our opposition to a needle and syringe program should be an indication that we do not understand the overwhelming tragedy of people who lose their life or, indeed, become infected by a blood-borne virus through the use of illicit drugs, in this case the sharing of needles.

I think that we have a different view on the outcome. Our view is that, when we have an opportunity to provide rehabilitation to someone who has been incarcerated, the best way to prevent loss of life is through a rehabilitation program that is effective, by


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