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Thursday, 12 December 2002
Page: 7991

Senator MURRAY (9:24 PM) —I move amendment (R2A) on sheet 2776 revised:

(R2A) Schedule 1, item 1, page 4 (after line 15), at the end of paragraph (b), add:

(iii) the activity is undertaken for the purpose of recreation, but does not include smoking or the consumption of any tobacco products in any form.

Originally, this amendment was in with the previous amendment. It is the one that relates to tobacco smoking which the minister just referred to. The Democrats are notoriously sensitive about the issue of smoking and health, but we share that sensitivity with very large numbers of people in all parties and all governments. I recall in my state of Western Australia one of the strongest exponents of the anti-smoking message was Graham Kierath, the minister renowned for being fairly tough on industrial relations matters. I was scratching in my memory looking for the arguments to motivate this amendment to do with the figures I have seen as to the cost of tobacco related injuries and deaths in our system. I think it is more than 10 per cent—it might be as high as 20 per cent; it is a high percentage—of all health costs that come from tobacco related illness. Somebody here might know, but I think about 19,000 deaths a year are consequent to it. It would be a great shame if somehow this area of concern slipped through under the guise of a bill which was intended for other purposes. I have no compunction in saying that we are being overcautious here. We are putting up a precautionary principle, which I think, given the nature of the problem, is worthwhile promoting. That is why we move this amendment.

Senator Coonan —I have already addressed that in my previous comments.

Question agreed to.