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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2269 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: I table this contract as Minister for Health in accordance with section 25 of the Health and Community Care Services Act and in accordance with section 31A of the Public Sector Management Act as modified by the Health and Community Care Services Act, which requires the tabling of all executive contracts and contract variations. Today I present a variation of a short-term contract. Advice of the variation will be circulated to members.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mr Stefaniak , by leave) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Mrs Cross for today, 26 June, and tomorrow, 27 June 2002.

Drug Dependence

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Ms Dundas proposing that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion, namely:

The treatment of drug dependence in the ACT as a health issue, noting that this week is Drug Action Week.

MS DUNDAS (3.45): I have proposed this matter of public importance, as this week, in addition to being the ACT budget week, is national Drug Action Week. During the week numerous events are being held throughout the country to promote education and discussion of drug issues. Each day has a theme.

Monday was dedicated to drug prevention policy. Yesterday drug treatment was dealt with-and I note that the Chief Minister used Tuesday to open Lesley's Place, the nation's first service dedicated to providing supervised withdrawal support to women and women with children before, during and after withdrawal.

Today's focus is youth drug policy, a theme that I am sure this Assembly is aware I am particularly concerned about. Tomorrow there will be a focus on the drug issues affecting indigenous people, and on Friday the continuing legal problems surrounding drugs and the current legislative and law enforcement arrangements will be looked at. On Saturday, Drug Action Week will focus on the use of drugs in the media and how the media portrays the use of drugs in our society.

I applaud the efforts of all those who have contributed to Drug Action Week, especially the work of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia, who have done much to facilitate events and involvement in this week.

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