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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4216 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I am conscious that there is significant disquiet within the community. Many members of the community view this proposal with some suspicion, and quite rightly so. It is a brave thing that we are doing here. We are going into some uncharted territory, and I think the people of Canberra have a right to know the basis on which we are doing that. This legislation meets the expectation the people have that they will be as fully informed as they wish to be about this proposal, and they can be confident that in its management the Government, through Mr Moore's department, will put in place stringent rules. There will be stringent rules in relation to the management of this place.

Proposed new clause 5D relates to the criteria for assessing the facility. I did hear some discussion about this previously. Proposed new clause 5D states:

The Minister must consult the advisory committee ...

I will talk about the advisory committee later. This is before the drug injecting place can open. It says:

The Minister must consult the advisory committee on the appropriate criteria, and must attempt to agree with the committee on a set of criteria.

The advisory committee has to set out the criteria. If the Minister does not agree with that set of criteria, he has to publish the reasons why he does not agree. It is a broadly based advisory committee we are talking about. It will have representatives from 16 or 17 organisations, including the police, the DPP, the Institute of Criminology and the Ambulance Service. All of those organisations will be part of this advisory committee. They will advise on the criteria that should be used for assessing whether or not this trial is something which we and the community should persist with.

The advisory committee will deal with that whole range of issues that you would expect it to - impact on health status; ambulance call-outs; impact on the propensity of addicts to congregate and what we might do about all those sorts of things; and the extent to which this sort of control does ensure the lives of drug addicts in this town. All of those sorts of things will be and can be evaluated. Such evaluation will provide useful information about how we can continue to address the problems of drug abuse and drug addiction as well as the ill-health and death they cause.

MR OSBORNE (11.37): Mr Speaker, quite clearly Mr Stanhope has lost the plot on this aspect of the Bill.

Mr Stanhope: The cartoons have finished, have they, mate?

MR OSBORNE: They finished at five.

Mr Stanhope: I thought you were upstairs watching them.

MR OSBORNE: No, I was watching a video. I have some cartoon videos.

Mr Stanhope: Are they videos you cannot watch at home, mate?

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