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Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Drug Analysis) Bill 2018

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Tags: Pill Testing

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I will be brief because there are only 10 minutes left of this debate. I want to provide Dr Woodruff with an opportunity to briefly wind up, if possible.

When Ms Haddad spoke, a person came into the front of my mind and that was Peter Garrett. Peter Garrett went into the Labor Party thinking he could change the Labor Party. What happens to people who go into the Labor Party thinking they can change it? The Labor Party changes them. I flagged the pill testing legislation we are debating today at the state conference in September. We have spoken about pill testing in this place on a number of occasions; it is our policy, it is Labor's policy and we have this garbage from Ms Haddad, from a party that says health is their number one priority, yet they are abandoning young people on this legislation.

It is evidence-based legislation and it is soundly drafted. Opposition parties were offered a briefing and did not accept it. We have Ms Haddad talk about harm-minimisation and the needle and syringe program. For goodness sake, a safe, effective, legal pill testing regime is a harm-minimisation measure.

Ms Haddad, they have done it to you before and they will do it again. The Labor Party bloods its new members by making them do dirty, dishonest stuff. What they did in the blooding of Lisa Singh in the Lennon Government was to stand her up to ask a Dorothy Dixer on the pulp mill because they knew she did not support it. They blooded her and they got her. We see this from the Labor Party over and over again and it is so frustrating. As a lawmaker in this place who has worked with the Labor Party, who has been in here for 10 years, over and over and over again, I see hand-wringing, bleating, waffle, and when a bill that would save young people's lives is before this House -

Members interjecting.

Ms O'CONNOR - The Labor Party says that because the Liberals will not support this legislation, they will not either. Gutless, gutless, gutless. You should be embarrassed.

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order.

Ms O'CONNOR - I remember when you and I both worked for Duncan Kerr. He would be appalled.

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order. I ask the Labor frontbench to be more disciplined. Thank you.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am passionate about this because I am really worried about our children who go to festivals, and they do take drugs. We can tell young people not to do this but it is like telling them not to have unprotected sex. It does not work. They do not listen to us, so we need to provide a safe, legal framework to save the lives of young people.

The Falls Festival starts on 28 December this year and there will be no safe pill testing regime in place. We could have enacted one if members in this place were prepared to work together to save young people's lives. This legislation is a health-based response. It is a harm-minimisation measure. It is soundly drafted. If health was Labor's number one priority, they would back this bill.