Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (24 February) . . Page.. 615..
MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson?
MR HANSON: Chief Minister, are you aware that the legislation you just referred to actually says that for the purpose of illicit drugs, the prescribed concentration of the drug is for any concentration present in the blood and that, therefore, the statements that you have made in the chamber just now and in the media today are false and misleading?
MR STANHOPE: I was aware of the tortuous approach that the Liberal Party's bill proposes in relation to roadside drug testing. It is a fact. Nothing that I have said is not factual. What I said, and it is the fact, is that Mr Hanson's bill—which is a straight take from Steve Pratt's bill, which was previously not supported in this place—is a model that actually prescribes a safe concentration of illicit drugs as the basis on which decisions will be taken.
The major difficulty, the technical difficulty, is that we cannot, with the available technology in a roadside testing environment, test for a proscribed concentration. You can test for the existence of the presence of drugs, and then, under the Liberal Party model, you then have to drag the person in whom a proscribed drug has been detected off, presumably, to a police station. The Liberal Party scheme is a two-part scheme—it is based on a prescribed concentration model. We do not have the technology available to actually determine a prescribed quantity in a roadside test.
It would be necessary for the test to be undertaken through an oral swab to detect the presence of a proscribed substance. That test takes, I believe, a significant period of time. The person would then be transported on, presumably, to a police station, where it would be possible then to pursue the prescribed concentration test, which might take some hours. So the person is stopped, tested, drugs detected, taken to the police station and subjected to tests to determine the prescribed concentration, which I am told could take hours. It is enormously resource intensive. Subject to the outcome of the test, the person is then driven back to the car and allowed to leave.
What deterrent effect does a scheme like that have? How does that assist in enhancing road safety? It does note. The scheme is totally flawed.
I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Road safety—drink driving
Answer to question without notice
MR HANSON (Molonglo): Standing order 118 states:
A Member who believes a response given to a question was in the form of a ministerial statement may seek leave of the Speaker to respond to the statement at the conclusion of Question Time for a period not exceeding five minutes.
That is under temporary order 9. I believe that the initial answer given to the question asked of Mr Stanhope and the supplementary clearly took the form of a ministerial