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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 3250 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

But if you were to have a look at some of the research behind that, you would question it - unlike this Government, Mr Rugendyke, which is very careful about everything that it puts out and makes sure that it is accurate and unquestionable. I know that you would never be tempted to question anything that comes out of our Government. It would be appropriate to question what comes out from their report and the approach they take to it. Mr Rugendyke, appropriate policing is part of a harm minimisation strategy. Appropriate rehabilitation is there.

If you look at, I think it is, item 3, abstinence is, of course, an important part. What we are focusing on is appropriate treatment for the appropriate people. Sometimes people will not be ready for abstinence and we have to maintain them until they are ready. This Government has always emphasised it is an important part. That is why we are involved today in the opening of the youth rehabilitation centre of which I know you have been very supportive.

We will continue to take that approach. My understanding is that this is the first time a government has put out a very broad drug strategy in Australia. I think it is a major step forward. It covers the full range of areas. Delivering on strategy is always the challenge. I am very pleased that members have not overly emphasised the two controversial issues that are still in there, but have recognised that the strategy itself goes much broader than that.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.55): I have already indicated that the Labor Party welcomes and, generally speaking, supports the content of the ACT drug strategy From Harm to Hope. As I have indicated, the strategy does go a significant way to meeting some of the concerns that the Labor Party, and I know the Greens as well, have been expressing about the need for a comprehensive and coordinated across-government approach to the major challenge presented to the Canberra community by the abuse of all drugs, both licit and illicit.

One has to acknowledge that the strategy From Harm to Hope does attempt to deal with a whole range of initiatives across all the public sector operations in relation to the community response to the abuse of drugs. It does deal with initiatives in the area of health, in the area of education, law enforcement, community safety and the environment. It is the sort of encompassing approach to drug abuse and the problems engendered by drug abuse that the Labor Party supports. The document by its content acknowledges it is vital if we are to make some genuine inroads in all the problems we as a community face as a result of the abuse of drugs; not just the illicit drugs but also the abuse of the more commonly abused drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

It is vital in relation to the attack on the abuse of all drugs that there be this partnership between all sections of the community and that the Government, government and non-government agencies, the community sector, indeed families and individuals, all need to work together if we are to make inroads against the scourge of drug abuse. In that respect I and the Labor Party support, and we have expressed our support, the emphasis that this strategy gives to the partnership between all those agencies and the community and indeed with families and individuals within the community.

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