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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1534 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

every bill. It is of concern that the Bar Association is saying, "We did not provide any comments on this because you did not formally approach us." Our understanding was that, if there was a matter on which they were inclined to approach the government, they were welcome to do so, and their input would always be welcomed and taken seriously.

One of the basic issues with consultation is always nailing it down. We were proceeding with what we understood to be established and accepted practice. Mr Stefaniak rightly comments on the concern expressed by the Bar Association. We might need to renegotiate our understanding with the Bar Association in terms of that consultative mechanism-but, Mr Stefaniak, we have continued your practice.

MR STEFANIAK (11.27): I am not going to repeat what I said earlier, because my comments were directed to this. I note Mr Stanhope's comments. Mr Harris is the new president of the Bar Association. I might pass on to Mr Stanhope the way things are, concerning the Internet. Mr Stanhope, if you could form some contact with him, that may suffice-pass on any part of what you have said today in the chamber about wanting their comments on legislation, and come to some arrangement with them.

There has been a change of personnel at the Bar Association over the past few years. Unfortunately, the longstanding president, Mr Purnell, died tragically. Mr Harris has replaced him. If there is communication between the new government and the Bar Association, that will ensure that the association can take Mr Stanhope up on his most sensible offer to continue the practice of consulting with them.

Amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Drugs of Dependence Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 9 May 2002, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS TUCKER (11.28): The Greens support this bill in principle. Its main effect is to tighten up the way this law is written so that there is no chance that a decision not to prescribe a drug of addiction could be challenged in a technical way. That is a reason also for the retrospective and immediately expiring clause that authorises past decisions made under what is now considered loosely written law. That much of the bill is fine, but I will be moving an amendment to deal with one aspect when we get to the detail stage.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

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