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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1374..

test in the absence of any suspicion as to the driver being affected by alcohol or drugs, which is the underpinning of the random alcohol and drug testing scheme.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.09): I spoke to this during the in-principle stage. The opposition will be supporting the amendments.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Orders of the day—discharge

Motion (by Mr Corbell) agreed to:

That order of the day No. 4, Executive business, relating to the Planning and Development (Project Facilitation) Amendment Bill 2014be discharged from the Notice Paper.

Sitting suspended from 11.11 am to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Courts—judicial appointments

MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, you announced last week that four new acting judges and four special magistrates have been appointed to ACT courts. You note in one media release that they will assist with "workload during this time". Minister, does the appointment of eight acting judges and special magistrates indicate that Canberra courts are still understaffed and suffering unacceptable backlogs?

MR CORBELL: No, it does not. What it highlights is the government's commitment to work with the courts to meet short-term needs in terms of workload. The Chief Justice has advised me that, amongst other reasons, one consideration is leave on the part of resident judges in the latter part of this year. And the Chief Magistrate has indicated to me that it is desirable to have a bank of special magistrates upon which she can call as needed, again to address issues such as the leave of resident magistrates and other workload matters that she is obliged to manage.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Attorney, will the acting and special appointments clear backlogs in ACT courts?

MR CORBELL: The appointments and how the acting judges and special magistrates are deployed is a matter for the heads of jurisdiction.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

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