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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1684..


I thank members for their contributions and their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 31 March 2011, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (11.38): I indicate that the opposition will be supporting this bill. It is essentially a technical clean-up that arises from a series of drug and alcohol laws relating to transport, DUI and roadside drug testing that has occurred over the last 12 or so months. It has a number of elements, including providing enforcement measures for trainer drivers; that is, anyone that is essentially teaching a learner driver, to be tested for drugs and alcohol. And it fixes an anomaly that was in the legislation. I quote from the explanatory statement. It addresses "an unintended gap in the legislation that was identified following the introduction of the zero BAC for driver trainers that was introduced by amendments to the legislation last year".

The legislation also clarifies licence classes and alcohol limits for holders of foreign licences, obviously an important issue in the ACT. It establishes the ability for police to take people requiring blood tests or alcohol tests to facilities other than hospital, requiring also that a nurse or doctor must be present. It establishes the ability for police to search people taken into custody but not arrested. This has been a contentious issue and I believe the Greens will be moving an amendment to this. I think that the big problem around this has been that the explanatory statement that has been provided with this legislation has been contradictory and has not reflected the intent of the legislation.

The intent of the legislation is to provide police with the powers to search and, as required, remove items from people taken into custody but not arrested. The explanatory statement, and indeed the briefing that was provided to my office and, I imagine, to the Greens indicated that this was only in the case of removing items or searching in the case of providing a safe environment, both for an individual that has been taken into custody and for the police who have taken that individual into custody.

However, that is not the intent of the legislation. The legislation itself actually does provide that the search can remove items that may, for example, be used in evidence at a later stage. So I just indicate at this stage that I am sympathetic in some regards to where the Greens find themselves, because it has been a somewhat confusing process.


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