Page 3733 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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If that is the case, the government will be prepared to support this bill in principle and proceed to a debate at the detail stage on the appropriateness or otherwise of that approach. It certainly is the case that there are arguments to accept that we should adopt a similar approach in relation to the display of these types of products as is being proposed in relation to tobacco, whilst not prohibiting their sale outright.

Mr Speaker, the bill is related in part to matters considered by the Standing Committee on Health and Disability in its inquiry into the use of crystal methamphetamine, or ice, in the ACT. My colleague and Minister for Health Ms Gallagher will be tabling the government’s response to that committee report shortly. Although I will not go into detail on the government’s response at this time, I will draw members’ attention to recommendation 22 of the committee’s report in relation to a ban on the sale of glass pipes used to smoke ice and other drug paraphernalia. The committee recommended:

that the ACT government give due consideration to the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy discussion paper and consult with the drug and alcohol sector and the local community, prior to any decision to ban the sale of glass pipes used to smoke ‘ice’ and other drug paraphernalia.

The ministerial council is to consider a discussion paper on illicit drug paraphernalia in the near future. The ACT is represented on that council by myself as Minister for Police and Emergency Services and by the Minister for Health. I am looking forward to seeing the details of that discussion paper and I am particularly interested in reviewing any evidence that shows that banning these items leads to a measurable decrease in the use of illicit drugs.

With respect to amphetamines, the ministerial council developed the national amphetamine type stimulant strategy 2008 to 2011. The strategy is informed by the research literature, scientific evidence, a nationwide consultation process and written submissions from key stakeholders around Australia. The strategy’s aim is to reduce the availability and demand for illicit amphetamine type stimulants and prevent use and harms across the Australian community.

Five priority areas have been identified by the ministerial council. One of the core concerns of the strategy is to ensure that adequate laws are in place to respond to amphetamine type stimulant-related activity. In responding to the issue of equipment related to the amphetamine use, the strategy recognises the absence of any clear evidence on the banning of ice pipes. Through the strategy the ministerial council has committed to:

Investigate how the availability of smoking implements including over the internet influences amphetamine type stimulant use, dependence and problems;

investigate the likely impact of changes to this availability and review the regulations where appropriate.

Mr Speaker, a ban on the sale of ice pipes or any other drug paraphernalia is not being pursued in the ACT at this time by the government. My view is that supporting this bill to a more complete prohibition—(Quorum formed.) In the week since the bill was

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