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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Mr Bell: What a load of rubbish, Daryl. Mr MANZIE: House and say because I wi 11 have with thi s The member for MacDonnell was very eager to stand in this that thi sis dreadful stuff. I am gl ad he has come back, try to explain to him some of the problems that he seems to legislation. First, the legislation itself divides drugs into 2 types and these are listed in schedule 1 and schedule 2. Secondly~ we are making the penalties vary in relation to the places where the offences occur. We are imposing far heavier penalties where offences occur in public places, hotels and schools than those imposed in terms of private residences and, if people want to abuse drugs in private residences, .those offences wi 11 not attract the same penalty. The job of the police will be made considerably easier in actually apprehending and prosecuting people under those circumstances because, in public areas, these ,offences are very difficult to apprehend and to prove under normal evidentiary procedures. If we are fair dinkum, if this Assembly believes that it should be against the law for people to abuse drugs, possess drugs Of deal in drugs, we need legislation which will enable the police ,to act and to prosecute offenders successfully. We have done that. In relation to the penalties, I am sure that the honourable member heard what I said earlier. In any event, he can read Hansard later and discover the fa 1 s ity of hi s c 1 aims of mon strous fi nes and j a 11 sentences for possession of 1 marijuana cigarette. In addition, we are looking at amounts - small amounts, personal quantities, trafficable quantities and commercial quantities - and graduating penalties according to quantities involved. I think it is only fair and proper that we do do that. This legislation is not part of the needle exchange process. That particular amendment was removed. This is a completely. new .package of legislation that looks at the whole question from a different direction. It was introduced 12 months ago. It has been distrib~ted more widely than any other legislation that I can think of. It has been available for comment and some comments have been made on it. I noted that even the Leader of the Opposition sent out a notification in his newsletter saying that the Legislative Assembly was introducing amendments and changes to the drug legislation and increasing penalties for offences and that, if people wanted more information about it or wanted to comment, they should contact him. Mr Smith: Why do you think I made the comments that I made? It was 'because people responded. Mr FIRMIN: A point of order, Mr Speaker! The Leader of the Opposition knows full well that he should not interject while a member is speaking. However, if he must interject, he certainly should not do so when he is not in his own seat. Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member for Ludmill a is quite correct. No member may comment except from his own designated seat. Mr MANZIE: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, the Leader of the Opposition implied in his newsletter that somehow or other he was involved in the process of advocating stricter drug laws. It is only fair to the community that people should have the opportunity to know where he stands. As I said earlier, he should come clean. If the Leader of the Opposition wants to say that marijuana should be decriminalised, let him stand up and say so. Let him have at least the intestinal fortitude to nail his flag to the mast. 8848