Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Mr MANZIE: Mr Chairman, the purpose of the inclusion -of new subc 1 ause 12( 2A) is to ensure that one person may to act on behalf of another person to exchange a needl e under the needl e exchange provi s ions. It is also very tight to ensure that people do not do a round delivering new needles to all their friends. Obviously, under those conditions, the ability for people who are dealing in drugs to carry around a supply of needl es cannot be prevented by 1 aw. However, the provi s ion is there to enable the provisions of the needle exchange program to be utilised and to allow a third party, under restricted conditions, to carry out that role. That is pretty clear. I read it out before and, if the honourable member cannot understand it, perhaps when he reads Hansard later, he will understand it. The provision is to enable that to occur, but to occur under some control. Mr EDE: That is not good enough for me, Mr Chairman. Mr MANZIE: I am sorry, but that is all you are going to get. Tell me what you do not understand. Mr EDE: That is what I am about to tell you. Donlt get too uppity. Mr Manzie: I am not getting uppity. You have a bit of a problem, I am afraid. Mr EDE: The honourable minister has a function to perform in this House. The new subclause (2A) says: I It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subsection (2) if the defendant proves that he or she obtained the hypodermic syringe or needle from a medical practitioner, pharmaci st or authori sed person I - I presume that the I authori sed person I may be a body, like the AIDS Support Group or something similar - Ireferred to in that subsection for the use of another person in the administration of a dangerous drug to that other person and the defendant suppl ied it to the other person, in its unused state, as soon as practicable after obtaining itl. Thi s refers to a person who is acting as a go-between. That person has gone to a medical practitioner or the AIDS clinic and has obtained a clean needle which is to be taken to the other person. As I understood the needle exchange provi sions, a person cannot just go to the cl inic and ask for a clean needle and take it and give it to a mate. He must first take in a dirty needle to exchange. Mr Collins: That is in practice. Mr EDE: You can get up in a minute. As I understand it, a dirty needle has to be exchanged for it. What happens when the person acting as go-between is travelling with the dirty needle? Where is that person protected under this legislation? Mr MANZIE: Mr Chairman, it is pretty simple, and I will explain it slowly. The short answer is that there are no problems because, in general terms, one of the prescri bed methods for di sposa 1 under subclause (4) will be as part of the needle exchange process. It is common sense. If the member for Stuart wants to play games, that is fine but, if he is being serious, I do not mind helping him out. Mr Ede: I am being serious. 8854
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