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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 world. We have to take note of it. We have to take note of what the community is saying. We are spending many millions of dollars now in cleaning up. We are spending many millions of dollars in education programs throughout the country. We have some excellent programs in the Terri tory such as li fe Educat i on and DARE. The Department of Hea 1 th and Commun ity Servi ces is running some excellent programs. We are losing millions of dollars in relation to lost productivity and ruined lives. It is a very serious problem. There are also serious problems in respect of the abuse of other drugs such as alcohol. Kava has been mentioned and we are all aware that the Minister for Health and Community Services is taking steps in regard to kava. In relation to alcohol and alcohol abuse, we have been quite tough. We have introduced provisions in the Territory that do not apply anywhere else. We have dry communities where alcohol is totally banned. We seize vehicles and property. We are really tough. What happens if you have one bott 1 e of beer ina dry area? We reckon that is okay, but then there are suggestions that we should go soft and let the kids abuse marijuana. We cannot have it both ways. It might make honourable members feel nice to say that we shoul d go easy on thi s because everyone is doi ng it. Everyone is not doing it! It is not true that 30% of the community is growing marijuana in backyards, as members opposite claim. If that is the case, they must have some pretty strange friends because, by crikey, they have a responsibility to ensure that people are not breaking the law. Certainly, 30% of my friends are not growing marijuana, and I am sure that any claim that 30% of the Territory population is abusing drugs is wide of the mark. I certainly do not apologise in any way for this legislation. I believe it could be firmer in many aspects. I also make it very clear that this legislation is not immutable and we will certainly monitor its operation closely, and we will make any changes that are necessary or desirable. Mr Smith: Who is going to do it? Mr MANZIE: The parliament and the government, as we do with everything else. It is a normal process to modify and to make alterations to legislation, and there should be no reason why this should be any different at all. One honourable member asked how it will be determined that a person is dependent on a drug or drugs. I have been advised that the Department of Health and Community Services is now examining the practicability and desirability of setting up drug assessment panels and will certainly be monitoring the operation of the legislation in that regard. There was a question about people making up mixtures of drugs, analogue drugs or designer drugs. Clause 3(2)(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Bill provides for la substance ("drug analogue") which is, in relation to another substance (being a dangerous drug specified in schedule 1 or 2, or a stereoisomer, a structural isomer. (with the same constituent groups) or an alkaloid of such a drug or substance)'. The designer drugs are picked up in the definition. As I said, some of this legislation is quite broad and it closes the loopholes that existed in the legislation we are operating under at present. Amphetamines are something else that I would like to mention. The use of amphetamines has been brought to our attention by the Channel 6 current 8850