Thursday 16 February, 2017

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (10:39): I rise today to close debate on what is a very important topic, and I would like to first and foremost thank all of those in the industry—the health industry, the e-cigarette industry, users, retailers and wholesalers—who have contributed to the debate along the way. I start today by referring to a News Corp article dated 17 January 2017, where it states:

An exploding e-cigarette has left a vaper with horrifying burns to his face and knocked out seven of his teeth.

Andrew Hall, from…Idaho, was getting ready for work and enjoying a vape when suddenly his device blew up in his face leaving him with hideous injuries.

In the article, there is a very distressing image of burns that are clearly evident and resulted from the use of such a device.

At the moment, in South Australia, these devices are basically completely unregulated. Children can use them and purchase them; there is no law at the moment preventing children from operating these devices. This is a clear example of how these devices, unregulated as they are, can unfortunately lead to these sorts of consequences.

This matter was referred to a select committee. The committee made several recommendations, and I want to address some of those points. A comment has been made this morning that some of the recommendations are not addressed in the bill that I put forward as an opposition backbencher. I put it to the government that in a lot of cases they cannot be addressed by state legislation, but what we can do is create a regulatory framework for these devices. We understand that they are out there, and we understand that as a state parliament we need to put in laws that protect some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Notably, the select committee delivered its recommendations about a year ago, but still we do not see a bill—I certainly have not seen a bill—that has been put forward by the government. You would think that the government with all of its might and all of its resources, and the minister with all of her resources, and while she is still here in this house, would have made it a priority by now.

Since we know these things are blowing up in people's faces, you would think that she would have made it a priority to bring a bill to this house for us to debate so that we can create a regulatory framework. By the way, no-one is saying that we should blanket ban these devices. We are just saying that we should create a regulatory framework so that these devices can be used safely.

We understand that some people use these devices to get off cigarettes; however, there are still a lot of unknowns about these devices. So when the government says that we are playing politics with this issue, with all respect it is a bit rich coming from them. However, I think we all agree that what this bill has done is to allow more expeditious debate to occur on this topic. I would welcome moves from the government, and I look forward to receiving the bill from the government that hopefully aims to create a bill on this issue so that these devices can operate in a safe and regulated way. I commend the bill to the house.