Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (10:31): I do not know about others, but the last six weeks has been pretty busy. I was invited to Europe, Poland exactly, to share what not to do in regard to tobacco harm reduction. We used to be good on harm reduction and in some areas we still are: needle exchanges, naloxone and supervised injecting rooms all save lives. But we are woefully blind when it comes to preventing the deaths of smokers.
Almost every country has taken a different path. The UK and New Zealand are exemplars of tobacco harm reduction, and their reduction in smoking rates attest to that. I also had the pleasure of visiting the Maltese Parliament while I was there and meeting with Ms Rebecca Buttigieg, the minister overseeing the rollout of quite unique cannabis legislation.
Last weekend I attended a conference in Malaysia on harm reduction. Although they prefer the term ‘sustainable recovery’, Malaysia is set to decriminalise the use and possession of drugs—Malaysia! That is right. Malaysia will soon be more progressive than us on drug policy.
We credit ourselves in this state as being progressive, but sadly we are falling behind the rest of the world.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Members statement 4/8/22