Page 3839 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 27 August 2008

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and restructure their businesses should they deem it necessary in light of the changes to the law.

The government do not apologise for this policy outcome. The policy outcome we want to see is that displays of tobacco products are removed from the point of sale, and that is because it is the last form of legal tobacco advertising that exists. I know Mrs Burke argued that visibility does not impact on people’s decisions about cigarettes—

Mrs Burke: That’s what other people are saying. There’s no evidence there.

MS GALLAGHER: When she was reading from that, she was reading directly from advice that she has obviously been given by the big tobacco companies, because that is information that I was given. It actually flies in the face of all the evidence, which is that point-of-sale display is the last form of advertising of tobacco products, and it promotes the uptake of tobacco. It says, “It’s okay to smoke. Here it all is. Come and buy it.” Mrs Burke is obviously in the pockets of the tobacco companies, because that is what she has read from tonight—that it does not have an impact on choice and it is really just adults making informed decisions when they go to purchase their cigarettes.

The other hypocrisy of this evening’s debate was that Mrs Burke spent 10 minutes criticising the government for our consultation processes when earlier today, on a bill that was introduced last week, she sought to ban products without a regulatory impact statement and without consultation with business. She sought to ban products sold by the very same businesses she seeks to protect tonight. Who sells ice pipes and bongs, Mrs Burke? Who sells them? The tobacconists sell them. What was your argument tonight? Your argument tonight was that they have not had enough time, it would impact on their business, the consultation processes were flawed.

Mrs Burke: You condone illicit drugs.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Burke, I remind you that you are on a warning from earlier.

MS GALLAGHER: This is the argument that the alternative health minister, if the Liberal Party were elected to government, has put on tonight: it is okay to ban something without talking to any retailer for the purposes of the legal grandstanding they have been a part of today, but when it comes to the government undertaking two years of discussion with industry on changes about the point-of-sale displays for tobacco, it is all wrong. We have not consulted enough, but it is okay for Mrs Burke to ban ice pipes from the very same shops that she accuses us of jeopardising through these bans. In fact, the opposition go so far as to say they will unban the ban if elected and if they have the majority of votes in this place. That is what they have said tonight.

We expect it from Mr Mulcahy, an apologist for the tobacco industry. He worked for the Tobacco Institute and organised for the tobacco industry when he was with the AHA, so we expect his conditional support tonight, which we have got. He has obviously understood that the community supports tobacco control measures, and so he is supporting them tonight, and we are very pleased to see the complete reversal in his decisions around tobacco and prohibition of advertising of tobacco products.

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