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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1915..


MRS CROSS (continuing):

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 negatived.

Clause 7 negatived.

Clause 8 negatived.

Clause 9 negatived.

Title agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Drink spiking

MS GALLAGHER (11.36): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes the alarming problem of drink spiking in the ACT, which is a threat to the personal safety of young Canberrans, particularly women, and often leads to further crime such as theft, assault and rape;

(2) congratulates the work of the Australian Federal Police in Canberra, in leading the nation in dealing with this problem; and

(3) calls on the relevant Ministers to coordinate consultations between community networks and organisations, related businesses, the education and health sectors, and the Australian Federal Police, in order to commence work on policies and initiatives to tackle drink spiking, and to provide a framework for a regulated reporting regime.

Mr Speaker, this is a pressing issue that I am bringing before the Assembly. Drink spiking is an often unreported crime that has repercussions for the health and safety of hundreds of Canberrans and it must be addressed in a wider context than law enforcement. Drink spiking is the term given to the adding of a substance or drug, either illicit or prescription, to the drink of an unsuspecting person to cause reduced alertness or other behavioural changes, with the intent of committing a further crime against that person, usually either sexual assault or theft. Drink spiking is a disgraceful, predatory crime that reports indicate is prominent.

I raise this issue now because it has come to my attention, both through media reports and via talks with the Australian Federal Police-in particular, Detective Sergeant David Sharpe of the territory investigations group-that drink spiking in ACT clubs and local venues is a prevalent and yet not very well known occurrence. As recently as last month, a federal policewoman was a victim of drink spiking whilst at a conference in the United States.

Drink spiking is not a problem that is isolated to Canberra, but is one that touches the lives of Canberrans with alarming frequency and often tragic consequences. It has become obvious that a prosecution-based approach towards drink spiking or drug rape is


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