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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4189 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

... often the very worst decisions are made with very high motives.

This legislation is just a tragic quality of life altering example of how true that quote is, and it will affect the law-abiding people of the ACT. I would urge those members who are going to support this proposal to think again on behalf of their constituents.

MR RUGENDYKE (9.45): This week a new standard has been set in this chamber as far as process goes. Here we have an Assembly that is intent on rushing this Bill through tonight when there are unanswered issues. The standard was set on Tuesday after Mr Osborne presented the report of the scrutiny of Bills committee on the legislation. It highlighted five major issues, along with a series of concerns related to civil liberties and treaty obligations. Supporters of this Bill want to rush it through without the scrutiny of Bills committee meeting at least to discuss the Government's response to the report.

The first problem is: How can there be a government response when the Bill is basically the agenda of a ring-in Liberal, Michael Moore, while the majority of the Liberal Party does not support the Bill? As far as I am aware, a response has not been formally tabled. That debate was had on Tuesday, but its legacy lives on. Mr Osborne made the point that members were ignoring process. Any member who supports the debating of this Bill tonight is totally ignoring process, and that includes Ms Tucker and Mr Stanhope. Any member who supports having this Bill go through tonight can forget about bringing up process as an excuse for delaying a Bill in the future.

They have set the standard; they have laid the ground rules. I will not listen to lack of process being a valid argument for putting off debates from here on in. To put this matter in context, my burnouts Bill, which received support yesterday, was referred to a committee 12 months ago. The scrutiny of Bills committee's report on it raised three drafting points, less than half the concerns raised in the shooting gallery comments. Yet my Bill was tied up in a committee for a year. The scrutiny of Bills committee's report on a shooting gallery will not even get to a committee before it is passed. As I said, the standard has now been set.

I have fundamental problems with this strategy. It is all about maintaining the level of harm and not getting people off their habits. The shooting gallery proposal does not place sufficient emphasis on getting users clean; it maintains the habit. Supporters of it say that regular contact with health workers in the shooting gallery will give users the opportunity to listen to counselling and advice that may persuade them to change their ways. Surely they get that sort of assistance now. Counselling and support are provided by organisations such as the Drug Referral Information Centre right now. Why do we have to duplicate that service? Mr Stanhope and Mr Moore have failed to convince the community that there is anything new in this proposal.

I have said before and I say again that the taxpayers will be the ones hurt most after this sad day. They are the ones who will be footing the bill for this proposal - not once, but twice. They are the ones who will fund this proposal. They are the ones who are being asked to pay for a shooting gallery that will maintain the habit and they are the ones whose houses will be broken into and whose possessions will be stolen by the users to

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