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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (22 September) . . Page.. 2023 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

While there was overwhelming support for the first aspect, I was concerned that the second, again involving labelling, was intended to apply only to foods that were no longer substantially equivalent to their existing conventional counterparts. This concern was shared by a number of other Ministers. Ultimately it was agreed that we would approve labelling for foods where they were substantially different, but that this would be an interim measure pending the receipt of further information about the potential for implementing a more comprehensive labelling system, drawing on the experience of countries that have already decided to use this approach.

Mr Speaker, I now turn to the joint meeting of Health Ministers and MCATSIA where we discussed a number of issues including Aboriginal health agreements and the remote communities initiative; national performance indicators and targets in Aboriginal health; intersectoral collaboration; mental health effects arising from the removal of Aboriginal children from their families; and substance abuse, diabetes, social and emotional wellbeing, and mental health. Ministers issued a joint communique, which I will table for your information, and I am happy to discuss any of these issues with you.

I think these collaborative efforts between ministerial forums are a useful way to raise awareness about these issues and to also ensure that they are progressed at the highest level. I was honoured to represent the people of the ACT as their Minister for Health and Community Care at these meetings. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Discussion of Matter of Public Importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Mr Stanhope proposing that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion, namely:

The widespread concern that community and non-government organisations in the ACT failed to have funding applications approved by the Commonwealth under its National Illicit Drug Strategy Community Partnerships Initiative and Non-Government Organisations Treatment Grants Program and the failure of the ACT Minister for Health and ACT Government to ensure funding for ACT organisations.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.00): Mr Speaker, I think it is very important that we discuss this matter in this place. The treatment which we as a community are able to provide for drug abusers and drug addicts within the Canberra community is a matter of the most significant public importance. The genesis for this MPI is quite broadly understood and well understood in this place. The latest round of

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