Page 2283 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2016

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The career options of young people in the territory are many and varied. Likewise, our VET systems need to be adaptive to emerging industries, responsive to student need and provide secondary students a broad and deep scope of offerings to meet their career objectives. I am confident the report I table today demonstrates real and lasting progress towards achieving this goal. I am looking forward to the continued implementation of these future directions and the outcomes it will produce for our young people.

I present a copy of the statement and the progress report:

Vocational Education and Training in ACT Public Schools and longitudinal study of school leavers—Review—Progress report—

Ministerial statement, 4 August 2016.

Progress report, dated August 2016.

and move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Medicinal cannabis scheme

Ministerial statement

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo—Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Minister for Transport Canberra and City Services and Assistant Minister for Health) (10.28): I am pleased to stand in the Assembly today and speak on the important topic of medicinal cannabis. It has been the subject, as members will know, of numerous inquiries and investigations across Australia, including our own here in the Assembly and in the Australian Senate last year.

However, there comes a time, after all the inquiries and investigations are done and all the evidence and testimony is in, when a decision must be made. Governments must lead and make decisions that are in the best interests of their community, which is why I am very pleased to inform the Assembly today that the ACT government will take immediate steps to implement a medicinal cannabis scheme in the ACT that will allow the prescription of medicinal cannabis products. I expect such a scheme to be in place in 2017.

In doing so, we join Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales in implementing such a scheme. All of these state schemes follow the passage in February this year of amendments to the commonwealth Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 by the federal parliament. These amendments will enable licensing of the cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products through a national scheme.

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