Page 817 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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unenclosed place where people can smoke. I think we need to explore what the 75 per cent rule will, in fact, deliver. Mr Gentleman, for some reason, seems to imagine that people will hop outside for a quick cigarette and then hop back in again. Unless there is a whole raft of other controls in the regulation, I imagine that we can expect rooms that are more internal than external, with gas heating, wind protection, comfy chairs and, if permitted, bars, bands and poker machines. Indeed, I believe that there are already some such spaces being constructed in anticipation of this regulation. Given that most of these places will have roofs, the walls of the more convivial areas will fill up with smoke. We should have no doubt that the presence of environmental tobacco smoke will remain significant.

The government’s amendment actually includes references to the first regulatory impact statement for this smoking legislation, which presumed that people smoking in unenclosed spaces are not, in fact, hanging around on 75 per cent enclosed patios and completely ignores the later regulatory impact statement, which specifically addresses that issue of enclosure and specifically recommends a more unenclosed approached to smoking places.

One has to wonder why the health minister, in making his decision to negate this motion, cannot support our call to make workers’ and patrons’ health the first priority, will not follow the findings of analysis done by his department on this issue, cannot agree to pursue National Occupational Health and Safety Commission recommendations for smoke-free workplaces and will not help problem gamblers by severing the link between smoking and pokies. I really think the Labor government could achieve even more than it already does if it were prepared to take the occasional step back and acknowledge mistakes. Were it to adopt such an approach, most of us would see it as a sign of maturity.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Order of the day—postponement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.08): I move:

That private members business No 3 be postponed until a later hour.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.08): Can Mr Gentleman explain what is going on here? He might like to consult with other members of the house before doing these sorts of things.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: We are now dealing with order No 3.

MRS DUNNE: Do you want to consult somebody first?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman, do you wish to explain or are you simply going to go ahead?

MRS DUNNE: Can you explain what is going on because no one has consulted the opposition?

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