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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 February 2016) . . Page.. 428 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, how will such reforms minimise the number of incidents caused by illegal drugs?

MR CORBELL: It is the case that there is poly substance abuse occurring when it comes to some people who are out late at night on a Friday or Saturday night. Yes they are using drugs. Yes they are using alcohol.

There are a number of reform options that the government has flagged through the discussion paper process that deal with an onus on licensees when it comes to whether or not they are aware of drug use or drug dealing on their premises and attaching that to their responsibilities as a responsible licensee, in the same way we do with alcohol. Similar provisions already exist in New South Wales law, in Victorian law, and the ACT government has indicated that we are giving consideration to similar provisions in ACT laws. So we are very much aware of these issues.

Of course the fundamental challenge with drug use is that drugs are already illegal. It is already illegal to use drugs. So it is not as though there can be a further legislative sanction in that respect. It is already an illegal substance. But what we can do is make sure that, where licensees are in charge of a premises and they are aware of illicit drug use occurring, they have legal responsibilities to ensure those people no longer remain on the premises. There are types of actions like that that can be taken to try to reduce the impact of that poly substance use. It is a difficult and complex issue but not one that the government is ignoring.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, is the government actively considering lockouts as part of its suite of reforms that you discussed?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hanson for the supplementary. I would simply draw it to Mr Hanson’s attention that lockouts are already provided for in ACT law.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, when do you expect to bring this suite of reforms forward either to the Assembly or the public’s attention?

MR CORBELL: Shortly.

Canberra Hospital—emergency department

MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Health. Can the minister please update the Assembly on the progress of the construction of the emergency department expansion at the Canberra Hospital?

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