Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1721 ..


here. Some 50,000 drug tests were conducted in Victoria this year, 80,000 were conducted in New South Wales and absolutely none were completed in the ACT. For seven years this government has sat on its hands. In fact, when a similar bill was introduced by Mr Pratt in 2005, Mr Stanhope described it as a redneck bill. After seven years of demands of urgency from the community, from the AFPA and from numerous organisations, and even after I tabled my bill in December that sparked this government into some form of action in February, the government has still been too lazy and too inept to actually bring forward what it promised—that is, draft legislation.

They have had their opportunity; they have had more than enough chances. Whilst this government sit on their hands—the bulk of Mr Stanhope’s energy was spent criticising me for my legislation—this government have done absolutely nothing in terms of practical action to introduce this very important road safety initiative into the ACT.

What we know is that there are people on our roads right now driving under the influence of drugs. We know that that impairment will cause traffic accidents, and we know that people in the ACT have died on our roads and will continue to die or face serious injury as a result of people on our roads driving under the influence of drugs.

I turn firstly to some of the comments Mr Stanhope made in criticism of my bill. When Mr Stanhope realised that we were actually going to be debating this in February—actually we then deferred that based on agreement with the Greens after discussion—he put out a very rough series of press releases and this new model of consultation, funnily enough on the same day that the bill was due to be debated in February. At that stage, he said Labor’s scheme was based on Victoria’s successful model in that it tested for the presence of a drug. So he said then that he had a government scheme and it was based on the Victorian model. Where is this scheme? There is not a scheme. That was a fiction.

He said it was based on Victoria’s model. He has today come into this place and said, “Actually, I do accept that Jeremy’s model is based on the Victorian model, but we don’t like that; we’re going to come up with something else.” Was he lying or was he mistaken in February when he said that his own scheme was based on the Victorian model, the model that he spent 15 minutes here today criticising? There is an utter contradiction, and what is quite clear is that Mr Stanhope’s agenda in this, now that he has been dragged kicking and screaming to a point where he is going to have to introduce random roadside drug testing, is, “I don’t care what the legislation is, as long as it’s not the Liberal legislation.” He will do everything in his power to avoid that. “We want the Victorian model. Oops, that’s Jeremy’s model—mistake. No, we support something else.” We are still waiting to see what that is.

Let me turn to the other great fiction in Jon Stanhope’s argument, and that fiction is that we are going to prescribe a safe level of random drug testing. I will go through some of the press releases and some of the false claims that Mr Stanhope has made about the technical elements of this bill. In a press release dated 24 February, Mr Stanhope asserted my bill intends to allow a safe level of consumption for illegal drugs by prescribing limits for illegal drugs. However, if you read the bill—Mr Stanhope clearly has not—what it says is that for a prescribed illicit drug any


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video