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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2584 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I think that the AHA is yet to receive the message that they cannot continue to operate in an environment where these issues will not be pursued vigorously by those in authority to ensure that we do not expose the community to some of the problems which are directly generated by the abuse of alcohol. Ms Tucker made reference to some of those problems. To those involved in dealing with liquor enforcement, including the police, those figures would come as no surprise. There is a major problem in the community with those sorts of issues and they are not helped when licensees continue to feel it is appropriate to serve alcohol to intoxicated people, to serve people in premises that are too crowded to appropriately accommodate the people concerned, and to serve people who are too young to purchase or to consume that alcohol. So, Mr Speaker, there is an issue to deal with there.

Concerning Mr Moore's comment about the person writing the manual having to enforce it, I do not believe that is surprising. It would have to be a very frequent occurrence in a small jurisdiction like the ACT. We have only 300,000 people. It is not surprising that basically one person within the Attorney-General's Department would effectively be given the responsibility for managing issues to do with liquor policy, or only a couple of other people at most, and it would be not at all surprising that the person who actually got down to writing the manual would then be in some position of having to enforce it. That is not a surprising situation at all, and I would ask Mr Moore to consider that there really are no alternatives to that state of affairs.

I strongly thank members for their support for this legislation and I strongly thank them for their willingness to send a signal to the industry that the Assembly, on behalf of the community, expects a high degree of compliance with these laws. Alcohol is a dangerous substance if abused. It can cost our community an untold amount every year. If those who are dealing in that alcohol respect and understand the law fully, we will be in a better position to deal with that abuse. If people who are selling it do not understand or respect the law, we have a serious problem.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail Stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (11.41), by leave: Mr Speaker, I move the following amendments which have been circulated in my name:

Page 2, line 7, clause 4, omit "section 8", substitute "section 9".

Page 2, line 9, clause 4, omit "sections 6, 7, 8 and 9", substitute "sections 8, 9 and 10".

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