Thursday, 3 December 2015
Statements by Members
While many members opposite were wondering whether to take the walk across the hallway to join a different party room over the last 48 hours, we have been focusing on the government's promises and, more importantly, their failure to deliver on some of those promises. I stand here today to speak on behalf of literally thousands of families and individuals around the country who pinned their hopes on this government and the Minister for Health to deliver real action when it comes to medicinal cannabis. They had good reason to have hope because six weeks ago the minister, with more fanfare than detail, promised that there would be a bill introduced into the House before Christmas which would start the process of legalising medicinal cannabis and the production of medicinal cannabis products throughout the country. We welcomed the announcement by the minister in a bipartisan way. We said that we thought it could have gone further. We said that it would be much better if we had a truly national scheme, but, not to be churlish about it, we welcomed the announcement. The government has failed on this point. There is no bill before the House; in fact, there is very little legislation before the House at all. As we draw towards the end of the year, it is a big fail on the government's report card when it comes to medicinal cannabis, as with so many other issues where they have promised much but not delivered.