Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3226 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
I assume it is the intention of the 10 with exemptions pending to spend the money to make sure they have the extraction system. We should look at whether or not the systems are being implemented properly, at whether they are actually being used, and whether the enforcement regime that is needed to make that happen is in place and working effectively.
The final dot point calls on the ACT government to address concerns raised by the accumulation of information, and it would be interesting to see what information there is, and how it is viewed in light of the enforcement regime.
I think there is a little bit of work to be done, particularly in seeing that the health inspectors are doing their job appropriately and effectively, and whether in fact there are enough of them. When that is done, and the result is taken in light of the information that we have to hand, it might be appropriate to look at the legislation, perhaps further enforcement, perhaps stronger conditions, and perhaps fewer exemptions. Let us see what effect the assessment of the legislation would have first.
MS TUCKER (3.36): Mr Speaker, I move the amendment that has been circulated in my name, which adds the following new paragraph:
(6) calls on the ACT Government to undertake an analysis of air quality in workplaces where the exemption system is in place and that this be tabled by the last sitting day in December 2002, with a Government response to the results of the analysis.
I will speak to the general motion as well as my amendment. I support the sentiments that have already been expressed by other members here about the question of the impact of environmental tobacco smoke on people in any situation, whether it is in a commercial premises where an employee/employer relationship exists and patrons are present, or whether it is in the home or in other places where people are exposed to tobacco smoke in the air.
In particular, I have added this amendment to this motion because I commend the motion and I think it is an important issue, but I would like to see something more concrete come out of it. I have asked that the government undertake an analysis of air quality in workplaces where the exemption system is in place, and that this be tabled by the last sitting day in December 2002. That is going to be amended as I understand it-and I am comfortable with that-to the first sitting week of 2003.
However, I am also asking that that analysis be tabled with a government response to the results of that analysis, because I think we need to see some sort of policy response to such an analysis. I am also quite concerned that the current situation in commercial premises is unacceptable. In fact, I was interested to read in National Heart Foundation correspondence that was sent to me by the chief executive of the National Heart Foundation where a person stated that, overwhelmingly, properly designed research studies published to date have found no negative economic impact of smoke-free policies on the hospitality industry.