Michelle Lensink

Tobacco Products Regulation (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill

This speech indicates the Liberal Party's support for the Tobacco Products Regulation (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I indicated previously that the Liberal Party supports these amendments. To briefly address some of the issues, there is a split in commonwealth/state jurisdictional issues over this area. As the minister stated, some of these sites are overseas, such as cheapsmokes.com, and I believe the ACCC has initiated some sort of action in an attempt to bring them to heel. The Hon. Sandra Kanck sent me a link to a local grocery website, one that I have used myself (but not for cigarettes), Banana Blue. I am sure that it is a reputable firm. I followed the instructions given by the Hon. Sandra Kanck on how you would in theory purchase a packet of cigarettes, and it goes through a series of different prompts and comes up with a box giving the standard health warning. The state jurisdiction relates to point of sale. We have now in this state gone through the process of changing point of sale displays for retail outlets, and it is specified as one square metre plus an A4 gory sign and, if you have the four metre displays, you have the larger sign. There is no comparison and it makes a mockery of point of sale display issues because the online services do not need to obtain them at all.

The Hon. B.V. Finnigan: They are still on the packets.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: That is fine, except they can get their packet jackets, because nothing is happening about that, either. The Hon. Sandra Kanck made the point very well about young people's take-up of technology and their ability to flout the laws. For retail outlets, there are hefty fines and it is a huge anomaly not to take action in this area.

The Hon. SANDRA KANCK: It is interesting to consider that this bill has been introduced by the Minister for Substance Abuse, which in itself tells us that we are dealing with a drug. We know it is a highly addictive drug—a very dangerous drug, with thousands of people dying from its use every year. I find it a little strange to have the minister arguing that it would be unfair for people in remote areas and with disabilities if they have some delay in getting their supply of this particular drug. If there is any validity in the argument that we need to ensure supply of that drug, we need to consider that the internet is only a relatively recent innovation and for many decades people who did not have access to the internet were able to get it when they made their weekly trip into the nearest town, or for people with disability to get somebody else to buy it for them. It seems strange to have the Minister for Substance Abuse arguing that as a reason for this not to be supported. I know it has limited applicatin, but I am also very wary of waiting for something to be done nationally. As I said last night, when I introduced a bill in 1996 to require the advertising of genetically modified products I was told that we needed to take national action and 11 years later we are still waiting. It is not a good enough reason for us not to take action.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Hon. Sandra Kanck has jogged my memory. In relation to the defence of using a national approach, that is precisely what happened with the display advertising around Australia. The state government delayed— The Hon. Sandra Kanck: How many years?

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I do not know. There was an announcement that we were going to have greater control of retail displays, then it was going to be a national approach and, finally, South Australia had to do it on its own; and I think that deserves a wooden spoon in terms of reform. New clause inserted. Remaining clauses (4 to 6) and title passed. Bill reported with amendment.

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