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Melrose Place . . Page.. 605 ..

very innovative program. Congratulations should be offered there, as it should to some other State governments that have tried to pick up the lead established by the ACT in the enclosed public places legislation. I know that Peter Foss, the Liberal Health Minister in Western Australia, produced regulations which would have, in effect, picked up the ACT’s legislation. I note, sadly, that Peter Foss was reshuffled shortly after that. I am not sure whether Premier Court is a smoker and I am not sure whether Peter Foss's replacement as Health Minister has carried on with quite the same vigour that Peter Foss showed in really picking up and trying to implement in Western Australia the ACT model, but I hope that they will.

The reference in Mr Berry's motion to condemnation of Rothmans for picking up their campaign in the other direction is very well placed. We are confronted with a very powerful and insidious enemy when dealing with tobacco companies that have billions of dollars at stake and that will really stop at nothing to promote their product. While enormous gains have been made in the battle for advertising in Australia and also in other parts of the world, there has recently been some quite disturbing evidence emerging in the United States in some congressional hearings about the backhanded way that tobacco corporations are getting around some of those advertising bans. It is an enormous achievement that you no longer see tobacco advertised on television. You have not seen it here for many years and you have not seen it for quite some time in other parts of the world. You do not see print advertisements now. While you do see them still in some parts of North America, there is a movement to get rid of print advertisements.

What you do see, insidiously, in top-rating programs such as Melrose Place - it is one of the highest rating programs for the teen market - is that the stars, who are role models for so many teenagers, are frequently smoking. We got rid of tobacco advertisements, which had a maximum exposure of perhaps five minutes in the hour; but for 55 minutes in the hour, in peak television, video or cinema viewing, we are seeing role models smoking. There is evidence emerging in the United States congressional committees that there is some money being channelled from tobacco companies and there is significant pressure from tobacco companies for the scripts to feature cigarette smoking, particularly in desirable or exciting circumstances or circumstances of glamour. That is a very insidious form of advertising, which is reaching every Australian teenager every time they watch film, television or video. It would be very hard for the ACT Government - indeed, it would be very hard for any Australian government - to toughen up on that, because we are really dealing with imported product. It would be hard to excise the tobacco image from those products; but it is a way in which the tobacco giants are trying to get around advertising bans, and it is something that does need to be looked at.

It is very pleasing that Mr Berry's strong motion has achieved support from the Government. I hope that Independent members also will support it, so that on World No Tobacco Day this Assembly can unanimously pass a strong resolution which carries forward the very significant leadership on tobacco issues that this Assembly has shown over successive Ministers and successive governments.

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