Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1202 ..


MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Wood, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Mr Jim Snow, former member for the Federal seat of Eden-Monaro. I bid him a warm welcome on behalf of the house.


Ministerial Statement

Debate resumed.

MR WOOD: Casting his eyes over this place, is he? Welcome. I am referring to page 28 of the document. This is a document about strategies. At about the fourth segment down, on how to improve health promotion, for example, an important aspect, it says, is to develop strategies. Now, I have said this sort of thing before in respect of another document. Develop strategies. I mean, this is what this document is about, and I do not think it gives itself strength by saying here "develop strategies". I think we need to see the strategies outlined here. Right through all the key pages here where the strategies are indicated, where the actions and further development are outlined, I think there is lack of detail, lack of clear goals, lack of intention as to what should happen. When this draft is further reviewed I would like to see something more in it.

As I discuss one of these actions here I will make some reference to the Federal document that the Chief Minister gave to us yesterday. I have been trying to get that document but I have not been able to get the original, so I have had to rely on her no doubt very accurate statement. If I have some reservations about the strength of this ACT document, let me say it is a million times better than the Federal document. It is a lot better because there are three key themes in that Federal document. The first is zero tolerance of illicit drugs in schools. Yes, that is all right, but supporting the expulsion of some students on drugs is the most outrageously ignorant action that I have seen from a Prime Minister in my memory. So I do not have any confidence at all that Mr Howard can lead the way in this attack.

The second theme is police referral of drug offenders to compulsory education, assessment and/or treatment programs. Well, that reads well, in a sense. Whether it is a practical way of going is entirely a different matter. These are two of his key themes. The third is a series of measures aimed at being tough on drugs and drug pushers in prisons, while diverting prisoners to treatment. Yes, well, good on you. I am sure all prison authorities around Australia will say, "Well, great, how do we do that?". I certainly hope Mr Humphries comes up with the answers on how that might best be done in the ACT prison. These key things seem to me to be entirely deficient in regard to what ought to be done.

I am impressed by the comments that there are many ways of handling the drug problems, because there are many people involved in drugs, many different approaches, and you have to treat them almost on a one-for-one basis. There are many different ways of doing it. That is why I support the ACT heroin trial. It is a trial. For heaven's sake,

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .