Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4336 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
I want to assure members that the government has not in any way sought to delay progress on this issue. I also want to say to members that if there is concern about the government's commitment to progressing this reform, I can indicate quite clearly here and now that the government intends to bring forward a legislative proposal in February next year, consequent upon the regulatory impact statement and the public consultation process, on the appropriate phasing out. If members have concern about the desirability of proceeding today, that is the commitment I can give-a rock solid, ironclad commitment. That is the reason we are proposing the adjourning of the debate. If members are not interested in adjourning the debate, we will proceed with our amendment and put it to the Assembly that the earliest possible phasing out is the end of November or beginning of December 2006.
The issue is fundamentally one of ensuring safe workplaces and I can only reiterate my surprise and concern that a position which as of 7.00 am this morning was the end of 2008 has suddenly moved forward two years to the beginning of 2007. Perhaps it is a case of some members being caught out on the issue and needing to adjust their position further. The issues I have outlined underpin the importance and the seriousness of this discussion-the need to ensure that we make considered policy decisions in relation to the removal of the exemptions regime and that we do so understanding the full impact of such a regulatory change on the hospitality industry. There is no doubt that these premises must be smoke free and they must be smoke free as soon as possible, but good law making also requires members to have regard to the impacts of their decisions before they take them. For that reason, it is appropriate that members support an adjournment of the debate on this bill today.
Motion (by Ms MacDonald ) put:
That the debate be adjourned.
The Assembly voted-
Question so resolved in the negative.
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (4.18): Mr Speaker, in that count we have witnessed a most cynical day and a cynical abuse by a cynical minister who is not in control of his portfolio and has given no thought at all to the directions that he is taking. Earlier today, this debate was to be adjourned and suddenly from the minister there was a December 2006 amendment, then the debate was to be adjourned, then we were debating the bill, and then the debate was to be adjourned. What does the minister stand for? What does the minister want? What policy has the minister put out on smoking in the ACT? Mr Speaker, what we are seeing is just typical of a minister who does not have a grasp of his portfolio.