Page 956 - Week 03 - Thursday, 3 April 2008

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smoking in some of those places inside the stadium, when it was allowed, had a significant impact, particularly on people with young children or people who were not able to remove themselves from the impact of that smoke as it passed through the stadium.

The smoke-free message has been well received, and the measures are clearly working. The Australian secondary school alcohol and drug survey showed that there had been a significant reduction in the numbers of young people smoking, down from 15.3 per cent in 2002 to 8.6 per cent in 2005. We will be commissioning another of those surveys, I think, for next year. That will show us, again, whether some of these measures are continuing to see young people’s uptake of smoking declining.

As members are aware, we have a bill before the Assembly on a number of further tobacco control measures which the Assembly will debate in the near future. The government is also considering smoke-free outdoor dining and drinking areas and smoke-free under-age functions.

There are a number of further measures that we can take to ensure that we are seeing the numbers of young people, particularly in the ACT, where we did have high levels of smoking, significantly amongst our female young people, decline. We are doing well. We have got a lot of legislation to debate. We have passed a lot of legislation. As an Assembly, we have done the right thing.

There is more to be done. There are more discussions to be had. I am confident that, in the next secondary student alcohol and drug survey, we will see the numbers of young people who are currently smoking continue to decline.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, yesterday you said that it was “absolutely 100 per cent gold-plated truth” that you had no plans to close schools in the ACT before you went to the election in 2004. Then, barely six weeks after the election, your government embarked on planning your school closure regime. Chief Minister, now that your 100 per cent claim has been shown to be 100 per cent false, can you explain why your promises are worthless?

MR STANHOPE: I have answered that question. There was no such promise. The position that was put by the government prior to the election was the truth.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, given such other broken promises as building a dragway and then no school closures, aren’t your gold-plated truths little more than fool’s gold?


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