Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2846 ..
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 7 NOES, 8 Mr Berry Ms Carnell Mr Corbell Mr Cornwell Mr Kaine Mr Hird Mr Quinlan Mr Moore Mr Rugendyke Mr Osborne Mr Stanhope Mr Smyth Mr Wood Mr Stefaniak Ms TuckerQuestion so resolved in the negative.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (5.33): Mr Speaker, the Tobacco (Amendment) Bill 1999 was introduced in March this year by the Minister for Health and Community Care to amend the Tobacco Act 1927 and the Tobacco Licensing Act 1984. The Minister proposes to move 14 pages of amendments to his Bill. These amendments were provided to members on 25 August 1999, that is, last week. The Minister was informed that the ALP did not want to debate this Bill in this sitting period as more time is required to examine his amendments and at least two community organisations wish to examine them before discussing them with me. The Minister may say that he has conducted or arranged briefings for the public and members on his proposed amendments. That is not the same as a close examination of the actual amendments, which are quite detailed.
The Bill does not have an objectives clause, but the Minister has stated that his objective is to reduce tobacco advertising at the point of sale and discourage sales to persons under the age of 18 years. We support those objectives but wish to have the benefit of closely examining the detail of how the objective is to be attained. I would also like the benefit of any report that the scrutiny of Bills committee may make on the amendments, though I understand that perhaps the committee will not be commenting on those amendments.
The Bill and its amendments satisfy no-one either for or against the Bill. The health lobby says the Bill does not go far enough and the tobacco lobby, particularly the retailers, say it goes too far. The adverse comments made by the scrutiny of Bills committee on the original Bill have not been completely addressed. I have received many letters and visits on the subject of this Bill. All submissions received focus on those provisions of the Bill relating to the elimination of point-of-sale advertising, limiting the point-of-sale display and limiting the product information display area. The Bill also imposes various other restrictions on the sale of certain foods and toys that may promote tobacco usage, and it restricts other tobacco advertising or promotion. No-one has objected to me personally about any of these provisions.