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Tuesday, 20 September 1994
Page: 1008

Senator BURNS (5.39 p.m.) —It is very clear that there are people in this community, as there are worldwide, who are knowledgeable about the damage that is created by tobacco smoking. For a number of years these people have worked very actively to reduce the practice of tobacco smoking with the view to eliminating it.

  I am proud to be part of a government that made a regulation that tobacco smoking should not take place in aeroplanes or in airport terminals. If I can make a contribution to the elimination of tobacco smoking, I will, and I make no apology for that. There are people who are affected because they are in an industry that made a living out of the growing of tobacco. I agree—and I support the view—that the government, if it can, should give whatever assistance possible to these people to go to another crop. But if it is being suggested to us that we should allow tobacco growing and tobacco smoking to continue, to provide jobs, we might look at the Nuremburg argument. People argued that there were jobs provided when gas chambers were made. Just as well these people do not grow opium poppies; those opposite would probably advocate that we should not take that away, either.

  Everybody knows that in the golden triangle, for instance, the answer to reducing and eliminating the growing of drug crops is to give people alternative crops. The government wants to see tobacco smoking and growing reduced, but we are committed to assisting people in the process of going to other crops.