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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 2982

Dr GILLESPIE (LyneAssistant Minister for Rural Health) (18:47): The Narcotic Drugs Legislation Amendment Bill is being put forward to protect the integrity and security of the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme. As you would no doubt appreciate, cannabis is a crop of significant interest to criminal elements, and preventing infiltration into the legitimate medicinal cannabis industry must be a high priority for the government. This bill puts in place mechanisms supporting the sharing and subsequent protection of very sensitive law enforcement information to prevent such infiltration. Further, the Narcotic Drugs (Licence Charges) Bill is being put forward to encourage a level playing field with the nascent medicinal cannabis industry in Australia through imposition of annual charges. These charges support a risk based inspection model that is designed to target licence holders where concerns over compliance with licence conditions, regulations or the legislation may have arisen. The risk based model ensures that industry participants are regulated at an appropriate level based on compliance history.

Both of these bills act to round out the existing narcotic drugs legislation and prepare the Commonwealth for the enactment of the medicinal cannabis scheme. I thank all the members of the House, on both sides, for their valuable contributions and the bipartisan nature of their support in the debate on these bills.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.