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Adjournment - Pill Testing

28 November 2018

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I was cut short because of a reduction in our time but I want to make some general comments about the need for policy in this place that is based on evidence. I am not reflecting on the bill that was just voted on. I would not do that but I want to make some general comments about the purpose of introducing legislation into this place.

The manifest purpose of every single bill that we bring before this House ought to be the welfare of the Tasmanian people. It ought to be about securing their safety and the future of everybody in this state. Not only should be we be legislating about the big issues to do with climate change, we should be legislating about the small things that matter to people in their everyday life, keeping people safe from the big threats and the tiny ones.

People put pills into their mouths, whether we like it or not, whether we tell them to or allow them to, or whether we deny them the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. There are many positions we can take, but fundamentally I would have thought that everybody in this House, every political party, would understand that reducing risk and harm should be our first principle. I am so disappointed to have experienced today the slithering and weakness of both the Labor Party and the Liberals when it comes to doing what they stand here and say they have been elected to do, which is to look after the welfare of the people in their electorate.

We know that people elect you to parliament to do the things that you say you will do, and it is deeply disappointing to see members of the Labor Party come in here with policies that have been passed at their own party conferences on a matter that is the same policy issue and to vote against it without trying to engage in the process of parliament and amending the legislation to make it the best possible bill it could be.

It has been a tiring few weeks, but that is the job of parliament. We have to rise above tiredness and we certainly have to rise above party politics. I am very disappointed to see the actions of the Labor Party here today and resting on harm reduction as something that is the basis of something they have done.

Dr BROAD - Point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker, under standing order 135 - having spoken on the main question a member may not enter upon the same question. The member is straying; reflecting on us.

Dr WOODRUFF - I hear what the member is saying.

The honourable Brendon Nelson, who was a member of the Labor Party and responsible -

Dr Broad - Brendon Nelson? It was the Liberal Party.

Dr WOODRUFF - I beg your pardon. The architect of harm reduction policy.

The Labor Party has had a long tradition of harm reduction. Evidence-based policy is something that the Greens hold very dear. I had thought that that was the bedrock of the Labor Party when it comes to their policies on harm reduction but it seems that they are dependent on the politics of the moment and not on the science and the evidence underlying them.