Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — I am very pleased to see all my colleagues again and am looking forward to spending some real quality time with them all this year. Like many students in my region I must say I was almost standing at the door waiting for the bells to ring so that I could come in.
Last month I travelled to California, where I spoke at a conference on new technologies and the regulation of them with regard to adult material. It was fascinating. As many of us know, the adult industry leads the way in developing new technologies for a consumer market, but governments and regulators often lag behind. This does not need to be the case. I hope we in this house can be progressive about emerging technologies in the coming years.
While I was there I visited the Californian Parliament in Sacramento. It was a wonderful experience. I am sorry to report that they are much friendlier than we are here. They do not even have a gate. When welcomed onto the floor, I literally was welcomed onto the floor. They even had an Australian flag in the Senate for my visit.
I had the opportunity to meet many MPs while I was there and to discuss some of their innovative approaches to prescription drug regulation, medicinal cannabis and the reduction of sentences for non-violent drug-related crime. I was also very fortunate to talk in detail to members about California’s approach to end-of-life options, advance care planning, the right of the terminally ill to try experimental treatments and much more. I look forward to sharing more of my visit with members through my report, which has the working title, ‘Sex, drugs and death California style’.