Tuesday 30 October 2018
Hansard of the Legislative Council

Public Health (Infringement Notices) Amendment Regulations 2017 - Disallowance

[3.48 p.m.]
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, I am going to workshop this because I have not turned my mind solidly to this situation.  I have been working on the wombat mange motion.  I am starting to get a bit itchy waiting to present it.

I was keen to listen to what the member for Windermere said.  I have had some phone conversations about our smoking situation.  I have said before in this place that I was a 60-a-day man.  I gave up smoking, thank goodness.  I know its impact on health.  I know the impact of 60 cigarettes a day.  I spent all day smoking.  Being involved in sport too, I know how it debilitates sporting activity for people who are smokers.  You have only to read the outcomes on cigarettes packets to know all the other things wrong with cigarettes.

I listened carefully to what the member for Windermere had to say because he is on a campaign.  Some would say he is a zealot in respect to smoking, although I would not say that. However, best of luck with trying to get the smoking age up to 21.  That is a debate for another day.

I heard the word 'mandatory' and that caught my attention straightaway.  That is a circumstance that I arc up at and listen carefully to.  The point the member for Windermere is making about the way retailers are conducting themselves is correct.

I had a call from Ben Kearney.  I encouraged him to call the Leader to look for a briefing but I might have referred him to the wrong person; I think it should have been you, in respect of this.

Ben is - and I did not get the title because I was not progressing the argument for him -

Ms Lovell - Australian Lotteries and Newsagents Association.

Mr FINCH - Thank you very much.

Ben is the association's representative and, for all intents and purposes, an upright citizen looking to do the right thing.  He expressed concern his colleagues in the organisation are doing the right thing.  They are bending over backwards to comply and make sure they do things right.  Even with the diligence they are showing, here they are being bashed about the head with a big stick.  I am a little surprised the Government is taking a hard line in this respect.  Are they not supporters of small business?  That is who these people are.  They are trying to comply with the law.  They do not want their records besmirched by charges.  For goodness sake, they do not want to appear before the court; they are going to be cautious.

This is not needed to make them more cautious.  They are being cautious, as you mentioned, member for Windermere, when you gave those figures as to what is being flouted.  It is miniscule, yet all the retailers involved in this organisation are tarred with this brush of needing to comply even more.  It is draconian.  I am going to - and I am surprising myself saying this - support the member for Windermere in his push, because the last person you would expect to be pushing something in respect of smoking and wanting to increase penalties and wave the big stick would be the member for Windermere.  He is taking the attitude he adopted as a police commander.  He expressed it here:  everybody makes mistakes, and they are not making it on a regular basis.  Highly irregular, so they do not really need this pervasion of, 'Oh, you make this mistake and we are going to take out our old police truncheon and bash you about the head with it'.  It is not needed, so I will support the motion.