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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 3007 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The Minister's definition of a product line that may be displayed means any product distinguishable by any one of those characteristics. My proposal is that we reduce the number of tobacco products that might be displayed by requiring that a product line have two of those characteristics. That is, in addition to, say, brand it has to have another characteristic such as flavour, nicotine content or the number of items in the immediate package. That will restrict the number of product lines. I do not know by what percentage it will reduce it, but it will reduce somewhat. I cannot quantify it, but that will bring the area of display back somewhat to the Minister's original proposal, namely, one square metre. It is another way of reducing the area of display. I think it is commendable. I do not think it inhibits the tobacco retailer in displaying the range of products that he has. It simply limits his capacity to display every single item. For an item sold in quantities of 20 or 35, he is restricted to displaying either the 35 packet or the 20 packet.

Mr Moore: He has to make a choice about that.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, he has to make a choice. He cannot simply display every one and thereby enhance the range or the size of the display. It seems to me that it does not inhibit his capacity to display the full range of product, though perhaps it has some other administrative disabilities in that he has to display in some way, if he wishes, the fact that he has a particular product in a package of a different size. That is my proposal. It tightens the controls. It reduces the area of display. I do not think it unduly inhibits the tobacco retailer in displaying the wares he is selling. I commend my amendment to the Assembly.

MR RUGENDYKE (5.10): Mr Speaker, for what it is worth, this first amendment of Mr Stanhope's is the only one that I am not minded to support. As a simple example of why it should not be supported I mention Winfield Red and Winfield Blue. Adult people have a legitimate and legal right to choose to purchase these products. To move away from one or more of these characteristics severely limits that right of choice by adult members of our community. The rest of Mr Stanhope's amendments I agree with.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (5.11): The Government, somewhat reluctantly, will be opposing Mr Stanhope's amendment. I understand the thinking behind it, and I do not for one moment question the attempt to narrow the scope of tobacco display. Our difficulty is that we negotiated with a range of different groups within the community and on a number of occasions said, "We demand this but we will give that". I think this interferes with that negotiation.

We should continue our consultation on the process if this does not get up in the Assembly. We should not dismiss it. We should subject it to a consultation process. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be continuing the process of restricting tobacco availability and tobacco products. I do not debate whether the step that Mr Stanhope has suggested is sensible. The question is whether it is sensible following the consultation we undertook. Under those circumstances the Government is unable to support this amendment at this time.

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