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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 676 ..

MR KAINE: Yes, Mr Speaker. Let me say that I will make sure that the Attorney-General gets a copy of this article because I believe that it is a very serious matter and is one that should not be allowed to be published in this Territory. Based on the Attorney-General's response, first of all, that he does not encourage people doing unsafe things and, secondly, that he does not approve of people injecting themselves with drugs, will he give an undertaking to this Assembly that he will take all necessary steps to ensure, to the full extent of his authority, that this publication and any others like it which implicitly or explicitly encourage young people and others to use heroin and other illegal drugs will be banned from the ACT? Or is he, as certain of his detractors maintain, guilty of perhaps barecheeked equivocation?

MR HUMPHRIES: Very amusing, Mr Kaine! Let me say, first of all, that I do not believe that censorship ex post facto is going to work. The fact is that both Woroni and the particular publication to which you refer are already published. If you think that there is any value, even if you disagree with something as strongly as you obviously do, in running out and trying to snatch all the copies of the publication from the hands of those who are reading them, then I think you have got a much grander idea of what the ACT Government is capable of than I have.

No, I am sorry, I do not take the view that it is appropriate to attempt to deal with the matter in the way that Mr Kaine has suggested. The Government's program will be to attempt to educate people about the best way of avoiding harm. I note that Mr Kaine himself was part of a government at one stage and, indeed, supported a government budget which achieved funding of peer programs to teach safe injecting techniques to drug users in the ACT. Mr Kaine was a member of the government that voted in those programs, that supported those programs. Mr Kaine voted for the government's budget to do those things.

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I suggest that the Minister answer the question that I asked of him. Of course, he will not. He will do nothing but equivocate and skirt around the issue, as he always does.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have directly answered Mr Kaine's question already - directly answered it.

Mr Corbell: Then you can sit down.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am entitled to explain my answer, Mr Speaker. As with every other Minister who has ever risen in this place on a particular matter, I am entitled to explain my answer. I do not have to give yes-no answers. I do not propose to on this occasion, either.

MR SPEAKER: Correct.


: The fact is, Mr Speaker, that the Government's approach has been very consistent and it will be on these sorts of matters. If Mr Kaine disagrees with the approach taken by the Government, he should put a motion on the table in the Assembly to cause the Government to change direction on this issue - in fact, the direction that this

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