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Thursday, 21 September 1995
MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
HEALTH PROMOTION BILL 1995
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care) (10.31): I present the Health Promotion Bill 1995, together with the explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MRS CARNELL: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
The Health Promotion Bill 1995 enacts an election commitment made by the Liberal Party to increase the resources being put towards health promotion and to give the Health Promotion Fund greater autonomy. It represents a major commitment by the Government to health promotion and increasing the health and wellbeing of the Canberra community. This Bill establishes the Health Promotion Board as a statutory authority and provides it with 5 per cent of revenue from the tobacco franchise fee. In 1995-96 the income to the board, based on estimated revenue from the tobacco franchise fee, will be $2.1m. This is an increase of over $1m being devoted to health promotion and represents the first real terms increase since the establishment of the Health Promotion Fund in 1989. In the first full year of operation of the fund in 1990-91, receipts from the tobacco franchise fee were $11.2m and the fund was allocated $900,000, or 8 per cent of revenue. Revenue from the tobacco franchise fee has increased considerably since then, with approximately $30m collected in 1994-95. However, the amount devoted to the Health Promotion Fund had fallen to 3.2 per cent of that revenue.
The Government's commitment to increase resources to the fund recognises the value of health promotion. The decision to allocate 5 per cent of the tobacco franchise fee ensures that funds for health promotion increase in line with revenues from this fee. This decision was made on the basis of the then existing level of a 75 per cent tobacco franchise fee. This has now increased to 100 per cent in line with New South Wales and Victoria. I am pleased to say that the Government has maintained its commitment to devote 5 per cent of this revenue towards health promotion, providing a further substantial increase in the resources to be made available. In the tight fiscal situation in which we find ourselves this commitment represents a substantial investment in the future health of the Canberra community.