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Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Page: 9204

Mr GEORGANAS (Hindmarsh) (13:42): I rise to support the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011, but at the outset I will make some remarks regarding the member for Bennelong's speech on the referral procedure and the health and ageing committee's investigation into the inquiry. The members opposite are complaining that there was no proper inquiry or that the processes did not take place as they should have. I can only assume that those on the selection committee who referred the bill to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Ageing would have been opposition party members. I say that because on this side of the House we were very satisfied with this particular bill, with its implications and what its outcomes would be. A member of the opposition on that particular selection panel referred the bill to the House Standing Committee on Health and Ageing, so for the opposition to then complain that it did not look into the trade practices aspects when it is clearly a health and ageing committee—it is outside our parameters to have a look at other issues. The committee looked at this particular bill and held the inquiry to look into the impact on people's health, and that is exactly what it did. If members of the opposition are going to criticise the inquiry perhaps they should have a good look at themselves and go through the processes to work out what they want to achieve before they refer bills to standing committees. I have to say standing committees in this House have always had something of a non-political nature. People have worked very well together from all sides of politics to achieve good outcomes. What we are seeing is the politicisation—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! The debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour.