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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4185 ..

MR HIRD: I seek leave to table the document I referred to earlier this day of the Parliament of New South Wales, namely, the report of the Joint Select Committee into Safe Injecting Rooms on the establishment and trial of safe injecting rooms.

Leave granted.

MR CORNWELL (9.27): In following the tradition I have followed in the past of speaking on matters of conscience issues, I will begin with a quote:

Whom God would destroy He first sends mad.

That was said by James Duport, and I think it is very appropriate in respect of the latest so-called progressive stupidity. Item:

We will not allow smoking in the proposed shooting gallery because it would not be in line with smoking legislation for public venues in the ACT.

That appears on page 15, under "Operation Considerations", of the report on the SIP research trial. An SIP used to be known as a safe injecting place; but now, of course, it is known as a supervised injecting place, as Mr Hird very perceptively picked up. Item:

At registration, clients of a SIP will be asked to abide by an agreement...including a prohibition on buying and selling of drugs in the SIP or its immediate vicinity.

That appears on page 18 of the same report. Item:

... the cost of extended SIP opening hours would be prohibitive and that therefore consideration could be given to the SIP being open late for two nights.

That appears on page 22.

I ask you, Mr Deputy Speaker, whether I need to present more evidence of the madness of the proposal than these three examples. One: It is okay to use illicit drugs but not to smoke them, because smoking in government public places is against the law. We will crack down on cigarettes, which are a legal substance, but we will not crack down on an illegal substance within a government facility. Two: It is okay to expect these addicts to sign an agreement and stick by it, including a prohibition on buying or selling in the shooting gallery or in the vicinity of it. I can accept the first part, but I would suggest to members that the second part is an absurdity. Three: In spite of the breast beating about saving lives, the shooting gallery will keep little better than library hours because of the cost.

I believe that those examples of naive, bleeding heart zealotry - leavened by a dose of bureaucracy, such as the laws relating to anti-smoking - typify the absurdities that the proponents of the shooting gallery expect us to accept. They are not, however, the main reason for my opposition to the proposal. My objections are more fundamental. Like the

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