The Marshall Liberal Government is going to crackdown on the sale of nitrous oxide canisters known as ‘nangs’ following concerns raised in the community about their abuse.
The canisters were designed for whipping cream, but Attorney-General Chapman said there had been clear evidence that they were being misused – in part due to their wide availability.
“There is a legitimate use for this product for caterers and other trades, but it’s far too easily available and far too easy to abuse,” Ms Chapman said.
“The consequences for abusing these canisters can be severe, which is why we are moving to restrict their sale.”
Attorney-General Chapman said the Government will move to restrict their sale, including making it illegal to sell them to anyone under the age of 18.
“In addition, we are also considering changes to restrict access to nitrous oxide at point of sale, for example by requiring proof of age or access through a staff member, including storing these products in a section of their premises that is not accessible to members of the general public.
“Other measures we are considering include banning the retail sale of the canisters between 10pm and 5am.
“The fact is, there are both short term and long term harms associated with the misuse of nitrous oxide,” Ms Chapman said.
“Restricting the sale of these products through common sense measures such as these will help minimise the risk of abuse in the short and long term.”
Ms Chapman said the changes would be implemented through regulations under the Controlled Substances Act and that she’s started the process with the Minister for Health and Wellbeing to get these changes under way as soon as possible.
“Under the Controlled Substances Act, any changes to the regulations must be considered first by the Controlled Substances Advisory Council,” Ms Chapman said.
“The Government has sought urgent advice on this from the Council, and will put the draft changes to the Council when they are finalised and will seek to act once we have their response.”