TOBACCO POLICY STATEMENT
Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - I also congratulate you, Mr President, on your re-election after a very hard campaign. You have gone from the depths of despair, to relief, to elation, and it is wonderful to see you there in the chair. As has been said by others, it will be sad to miss some of your pearls of wisdom, because they were always good. Your legalese always added a little bit to debate, and sometimes made some of the acts and the bills a little clearer. Perhaps from time to time you might hop down from the chair and share some of that.
I also congratulate the honourable member for Pembroke on her re-election. I am sure it was not easy either. They were all hard fought campaigns.
I welcome the new member, the honourable member for Montgomery. It is wonderful to see you in the chamber. I am sure that you will have a very enjoyable time, as well as it being very rewarding and great for your community.
I support the intent of the motion and I acknowledge the amount of work and time that the honourable member for Windermere has not only put into foxes but into smoking. I think that is -
Ms Forrest - Smoking foxes.
Mrs ARMITAGE - Smoking foxes, if we could see one. It would save us a lot of money if they all smoked. All jokes aside, the honourable member for Windermere has, over a great number of years, kept on with this. It has not been a one-day wonder. He has done it continuously and for the right reasons - for the health of the community.
I abhor smoking, and I agree it is a harmful substance, but I acknowledge it is legal. That is one of the issues. Smoking has the ability to cause death by a variety of means, including second-hand smoke. However, alcohol also has the ability to cause death, not to mention drunk drivers who take the lives of a number of innocent people every year. Sometimes we concentrate on smoking and we leave one of the worst substances, in alcohol, alone. I agree with a lot of the comments made by the honourable member for Western Tiers and the honourable member for Murchison. I take some comfort in the wording of the motion, in that the honourable member for Windermere urges the government to develop a whole-of-government policy statement, and encourages a public announcement. They are not hard and fast words. They are words to say we would like you to do this. Because of the words that have been used, and I accept that there could be some constraints, but the words 'urges and encourages' are words that are soft enough so that while we would like to push this with the government and ask them to go down this path, it is not enforceable.
I will support the motion before us.