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Third reading of Bill 60 - The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act

 On Thursday May 20, I spoke at third reading on Bill 60, The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act.  My comments (from Hansard) are below:

Bill 60–The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Control Amendment Act (2)

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): I want to put a few comments and I want to address the situation of use of minors to go deliberately into establishments which are selling liquor or cannabis to purchase liquor, for example, and whether or not this is entrap­ment.

It is certainly duplicity in this sense that the young person who is going in to buy the liquor is, in this case, not going in because the young person wants the liquor, but because the young person has been asked to go in to see if they can try to buy the liquor.

So the young person is going in there with the sole purpose, not of buying liquor to drink, but the sole purpose of trying to get–identify people who will sell liquor to minors, who will break the law. And yes, it's true that this is important to identify people who are breaking the law, and it is true that it is important to stop people from selling to minors, but, at the same time, I still have questions about the use of minors in this circumstance.

      I think that the government should be looking at what the long-term impacts are of having minors go in to try and purchase liquor, not because they want the liquor, but because they want to catch somebody selling liquor to a minor so that that person can be fined or taken to court.

I think we need to be very, very careful with this. It certainly–it doesn't have the sort of, you know, ability to pass the normal smell test. I think that there must be better ways to do this than to have minors trying to do things which they're not really wanting to do; that is, to purchase the liquor to drink it.

That is certainly deceptive, and I don't really think it's a good idea to be training minors to be deceptive in this way. That, I guess, is something that we're going to find out because the government is going to pass this bill and proceed with it even though we on our side have some objections.

      So we won't support this legislation but we rather would like to watch very closely to see how this process works out and what impact it has on the minors who are being asked to do this, really, under false pretenses because they are not really trying to buy liquor to consume it, they are trying to buy liquor in order to catch somebody out.

      Thank you.

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