Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1215 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
I know that it is built into the educational strategy that my colleague Mr Stefaniak is dealing with.
There was also the issue of the Prime Minister talking about forced treatment. I think we have to be very careful with forced treatment. If you say that this person is to be forced into treatment and if they fail they go directly to gaol, do you take into account the average number of times that people try to seek rehabilitation? I do not know whether members are aware, but the average number of times that people try to give up drugs is 17. These are people who are genuinely trying. That should not be a surprise to us because we have seen people around us who are smokers - perhaps some of us have been smokers ourselves - who have had to go back again and again to try to give up smoking. It always takes quite a number of times. We are incredibly tolerant of people who have tried to give up smoking, who do their best and who try to manage it. I think we should also be tolerant of people who are dealing with these drugs as well.
Ms Tucker said to me that I listened to Sylvia Curley, and does she have to wait until she turns 100 before I listen to her. No, I listen to Ms Tucker. I listen to her very carefully, and I take what she says into account. The thing I find incredibly frustrating is that Ms Tucker does not listen to me. She never listens to me. She does not understand what I am trying to say. What I am trying to say to her is that there is a balance between the sort of endless process that she talks about and the dangers of delay. Everybody who has looked at policy implementation knows that if you do not think you can knock something off, the best thing to do is delay it. That is the difficulty with what Ms Tucker is saying. We have to get that balance right.
Let us not forget the evaluation that the drug strategy has gone through. As she said, it went for more than a year. If she looks at the list of people who were consulted through that process, the key stakeholders, we have been through an incredibly long process. But, no, she says, "You should listen to Ivan Deveson". Well, Ms Tucker, I have talked to Ivan Deveson about this very thing. I have talked to him about the frustration he has with people who are just implacably opposed to what he is trying to do. I understand those frustrations. Sometimes you cannot say, "Yes, we all agree; we have met everybody's needs". Sometimes you draw the line and say, "No, there are going to be some people who disagree with this, but our judgment, the judgment of the elected people, is that we have to proceed on a particular issue or not proceed". (Extension of time granted) Thank you members, and thank you, Mr Speaker. I will try to be brief.
Ms Tucker did raise a series of other things, following the line that Mr Wood raised about social issues. We should fix every social issue, and she put up a wish list. Well, Ms Tucker, we share that wish list. Of course we would all like to be able to resolve those things, and we are working very hard to resolve them. But we do work within a confined amount of revenue coming from the Commonwealth and a confined amount of revenue that comes in from the people of the ACT. Within that context we are bending over backwards to do what we can to deal with those things.
Then, Mr Speaker, we had the most shallow speech of all, and that was the one from Mr Osborne. He suggested that politicians speak lightly about these issues. We do not speak lightly, Mr Speaker. None of us speak lightly. I know that Mr Humphries has agonised over these issues. We have had differences of opinion for many years. We try to find a fairly similar approach on many of the issues, although still with some minor