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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The WA Parliamentary Inquiry on Personal Choice and Community Safety (PCCS) established this week is not only a waste of time and money but could have a negative impact on perceptions of community safety and health, the Australian Medical Association (WA) said today.
“This Parliamentary Inquiry will attract anti-health supporters, including those who for a range of reasons – including ignorance – believe that individuals have no responsibility for their community,” AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid said.
“The absurdity of some of the speeches given yesterday by MLCs was embarrassing and reflect poorly on them as elected representatives of the people of WA.
“We are a safer and healthier community because of a history of health and safety legislation passed over many decades. This should not be denigrated or dismantled easily and some of the ideas likely to get a platform will be unfortunate.
“We know why both major political parties supported the establishment of this inquiry. With the numbers in the Legislative Council on a knife-edge, both parties need to support some ideas of the minor parties, even the more irresponsible ones.
“I should remind both major political parties that providing oxygen to some of the preposterous ideas that this Committee will attract will do the WA Parliament no good. To be the focus of some of the conspiracy theories certain to arrive as submissions will turn it into a national and international joke,” Dr Khorshid said.
“The successful mover of the motion to establish this committee received just 153 personal votes and his party received 13,418 votes.
“It is encouraging that while supporting the creation of the Committee, the Labor Party made it clear that it would not necessarily commit to any of its recommendations.
“What is one person’s perception of a so-called nanny state law or regulation is another person’s positive health and safety requirement.
“It is a wonder that some members are not suggesting that sewers be voluntary or that hygiene officers visiting food establishments be unnecessary because they are too expensive.
“No law should be passed without careful consideration. No law should be stupid or unnecessary but these laws are necessary, indeed vital.
“Some people would like to see a return to the magical world called ‘the good old days’.”
“I presume these ‘good old days’ was a time when the death rate of such diseases as polio, measles and scarlet fever was extreme; where more than 50 per cent of the population smoked; and where the death rate due to there being no requirement for cars to have seatbelts or when children drowned in unfenced pools was acceptable in the name of personal freedom.
“The AMA (WA), like many health-related organisations will devote time, labour and money to preparing a submission. But this should be completely unnecessary,” Dr Khorshid said.