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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3235 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

there that I can see that would address that question. So, Mr Speaker, I believe that there are some deficiencies in the document and I cannot say that I endorse it in its totality. I do believe it has some good points. As you have often quoted, Mr Speaker, it is a bit like the curate's egg. It is well done in parts, but I think there are also parts in which it is not well done. There are some places where I think it is downright deceptive, and perhaps intended to be, so that it will not attract a strong wave of opposition from the community at large out there who will read the words, which are euphemistic, and not necessarily understand the intent behind them.

On page 5 the strategy talks about supply reduction strategies which "aim to disrupt both the supply of illicit drugs entering Australia and the production and distribution of illicit drugs". I do not see much in the way of that happening in the ACT. The Government is relying on Federal agencies to handle that. I do not know whether there are things that the ACT Government should be doing to complement and supplement what the Federal agencies, the Customs Service and the Australian Federal Police, are doing, but the paper is silent on that question. It merely assumes that what Commonwealth agencies are currently doing is adequate; yet you constantly hear criticism, including criticism from the advocates of going soft on drug use, that they are not being effective in reducing the supply. Therefore, they say we have to have these other alternatives open to us.

Well, if they are not being effective, what should we be doing to enhance their effectiveness? What is there that the ACT Government should be attempting to do to complement and supplement what those Federal agencies do? This report, this so-called strategy, is silent on that matter. If we are serious about this harm reduction by reducing the availability of drugs amongst our community, I would have thought that such an issue would have been dealt with to some degree.

I am not wholeheartedly in support of the strategy, Mr Speaker. It does have gaps, it does have deficiencies, and I would have hoped, after the years that we have been addressing this issue, that all of those gaps would have been filled in by now. However, since all we are being asked to do is to note the report, I guess we can let it run and see what happens in the next 12 months.

MR HARGREAVES (10.55): Like Mr Hird and Mr Kaine, I am quite happy with a lot of the provisions in this report. There are some that give me some concern, but since we are noting the report the Assembly might also note some of the comments that I make about it. I will address my remarks progressively while going through the report for the ease of people examining these comments later. On page 7 it talks about the partnership approach and it says:

The Government will ensure that funds are used effectively and efficiently.

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