Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1719 ..
under the influence of illicit drugs a traffic offence, and it is on this basis that we support putting the framework of this legislation in place to be amended upon receipt of the government’s consultation paper and the results from that consultation.
We have had concerns with both the government and the opposition approaches to implementing random drug testing legislation. On the government side, we have seen delays to considering and releasing a legislative package, and I appreciate that the Chief Minister did note that they had intended to have that tabled this week. However, whilst the government have taken a step of conducting wide community consultation, we have been somewhat left in the dark as to the form of the legislation that is being considered by the government.
We have been asked to adjourn or oppose the opposition’s legislation based upon future government legislation on the same topic, which is an approach we have had concerns with as we cannot judge the relative merits of legislation which does not yet exist. In light of this particular bill having remained on the notice paper for over six months, we believe we cannot continue to delay the in-principle debate on this issue.
Additionally, we have concerns about statements the government have made regarding opposition to this bill—we have heard some of them today in the Chief Minister’s speech—in particular, statements made through media releases and today that this bill cannot be practically implemented when it is clear that the central operative elements of this bill are based upon the Victorian model of legislation which has been in effective operation for a number of years.
On the opposition side, whilst they have put together a basic legislative model that has been based upon the operation of random drug testing in Victoria, the ACT Greens do not believe there has been sufficient consideration in consultation with ACT-based groups that have interests in road safety and drug legislation, nor has there been sufficient detail provided to address the specific human rights concerns about this legislation.
We acknowledge and thank Mr Hanson for passing on to us his response to the scrutiny of bills report. However, whilst we agree that, legislatively, the provisions regarding drug testing are similar to those for drink driving, there does need to be consideration of the fact that the impact on human rights may be greater due to the technology used possibly being more invasive. We acknowledge and understand the urgency Mr Hanson has expressed in regard to implementing a form of random drug testing measure. However, it is the position of the ACT Greens that we must take the opportunity to gather input from the community in order to have the best possible model for drug testing legislation.
Furthermore, consideration will need to be given to practical elements of implementation. Whilst we understand that Mr Hanson has held discussions with groups such as the NRMA and the AFPA, we expect that the consultation report will provide guidance as to how the legislation can best interact with other elements of a successful anti drug driving strategy.
The ACT Greens, as Mr Stanhope did note, made a submission to the ACT government’s discussion paper on drug driving in the ACT. In that submission we