Page 4813 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

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Transport—anti-smoking measures

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, please! Ms Orr has the floor.

MS ORR: My question—

Ms Berry: Point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Orr, would you resume you seat. Ms Berry on a point of order.

Ms Berry: Mr Hanson just called out a word across the chamber which is unparliamentary and he should be made to withdraw.

MADAM SPEAKER: If your language was unparliamentary, although I did not hear it, Mr Hanson, I ask you to withdraw.

Mr Hanson: The word I interjected with was “grubby”. I will allow you to determine that it was not aimed at a member; I was not calling an individual member grubby. I was referring to the action of the xenophobic CFMEU giving money to the Labor Party.

MADAM SPEAKER: Resume your seat, Mr Hanson. A point of order is not a debate and we have had a debate about various bits of language in this place; sometimes the same language has been ruled in and out. I am not going to prosecute that argument again but I will remind you, Mr Hanson: you are a serial interjector; you are serially offensive across the chamber. Consider yourself warned.

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, how is the government protecting public transport users from the effects of second-hand smoke?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Orr for the question. As she is a very regular public transport user herself, it is a very good question. The ACT government is committed to protecting the community from exposure to second-hand smoke, which is why from 1 October the government banned smoking and the use of smoking products such as electronic cigarettes in all public transport waiting areas across the ACT. These include bus interchanges and stops, taxi ranks, train stations and, soon, light rail stops.

Public transport is often used by large groups of people, including school-aged children, and is relied upon by many Canberrans to participate in daily life. Users need to stay close to transport stops and stations to effectively use these services. It can therefore be difficult to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke, which we know can cause a range of serious adverse health effects in adults and children, including lung cancer, heart disease and asthma. Although tobacco smoke does tend to dissipate more quickly outdoors, bystanders can still be exposed to harmful levels of smoke, particularly when in close proximity to the smoker.

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