Ministerial Statement Kava Licensing Issues
Tabled paper 2012
Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Timothy Baldwin
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6 I also said then that further research was needed. This report and the debate the kava issue has generated since the referral to the committee says to me that not only is further research urgently needed but that the potential and possible disastrous side-effects of kava abuse justify a hiatus in allowing its continued importation into Arnhem Land. There are too many unanswered questions about the potentially serious ill-effects of excessive kava abuse - and the answers are needed before we put in place any regulatory regime. Now that this draft report is public, I will be referring it to my department for further action particularly in the areas of research and education. Certainly, Madam Speaker, I would have to say to you, and to this House, that in such circumstances I am very reluctant to be the sponsor of any act of this Parliament that would allow the unfettered continued use of this drug and the consequent misuse of it. It is in such a context that I believed our first step should be to ban kava. Another of my concerns - and one that I know is shared by the Honourable Member for Nhulunbuy - is that the illegal kava market has become sophisticated and pervasive. Most suppliers are based in Nhulunbuy and operate through a well established network of Aboriginal retailers in communities.