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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 275 ..

Pursuant to standing order 99A, the petitions, having more than 500 signatories, were referred to the Standing Committee on Health and Community Wellbeing.

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petitions would be recorded in Hansard and referred to the appropriate ministers for response pursuant to standing order 100, the petitions were received.

Motion to take note of petitions

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the petitions so lodged be noted.

Health—drug and alcohol treatment services—petition 3-21

Health—drug and alcohol treatment services—petition 25-20

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.03): Madam Speaker, today I present a petition signed by 699 residents of the ACT. The Canberrans who initiated and then supported this petition have asked me to raise a number of issues with this Assembly—something that I am very happy to do.

First, they are aware that the average consumption of several major drugs in the territory is above the national average, including both capital cities and regional areas. These include alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and nicotine—with cannabis and cocaine both well above this average, and alcohol and nicotine use in the ACT clearly trending upwards.

Above-average and increasing rates of consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are of concern to residents for several reasons. The impacts of these substances on both physical and mental health are well established and frequently discussed.

Beyond these, many residents also know—often from difficult personal experiences—what research has clearly demonstrated: that there is a link between alcohol, drugs and domestic violence. Recent research at Deakin University found that 27.6 per cent of incidents of intimate partner violence in the ACT were alcohol related. Nationwide, those who reported that their partners had engaged in heavy binge drinking in the past 12 months were 5.8 times more likely to have experienced such violence. The same research project found that incidents of intimate partner violence involving drugs were more likely to involve physical violence and also more likely to result in both physical and psychological injury.

Impacts on families are not limited to domestic violence. When a family member has a dependency on alcohol, tobacco or drugs, this can create fears, worries, tension and even conflicts. In such situations, loving family members can be quite hopeful that the needed help is both available and accessible.

It is for this reason that this petition specifically calls upon the ACT government to conduct a thorough inquiry into the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs service sector.

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