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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2854 ..


utilising their existing powers of search if there are other factors that the officer can consider. In practical terms, this will mean that ACT police officers will need to make a judgement about whether or not to search a car under the current powers without solely referring to the results of an oral fluid test. Simply put, if the officer believes the car is suspicious before administering the test they will be able to search the car under their existing powers under the Crimes Act.

To this end we have specified in our amendments that a positive screening test alone is not reasonable grounds for suspicion under the Crimes Act. We believe that this is an important civil liberties provision. Additionally, our amendments limit the use of evidence gathered through the administration of roadside testing solely to offences under this act and reinforce that the government should be administering this test as a road safety measure.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clauses 2 and 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (10.33), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 and 2 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 3022].

As I mentioned earlier, amendment 1 refers to changing from the prescribed level 2 presence and non-presence test. It also removes the drug impairment test which, as I outlined, is a subjective measure. This amendment, which changes offences from driving “while impaired by drug or blood drug concentration exceeded” to “with prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood” does two things. It removes reference to a drug impairment test, which the ACT Greens feel is unnecessarily subjective, and it allows police to reasonably detain an individual who had otherwise passed a drug test.

Additionally, it replaces the prescribed levels with a simpler presence test for drugs. This better reflects the current level of technology and alleviates concerns that the government and the AFP may have had with the operation of roadside testing as a prescribed concentration basis. This section deals with listing offences under the Crimes Act. As I said, amendment 2 removes the offence of refusing to undergo a drug assessment test. I have already spoken about that earlier.

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (10.34): The Liberals will be supporting this amendment. We have had a significant amount of debate about this both with the Greens and also in the community. The explanation of drugs and using a concentration level for drugs is mirrored in the Victorian legislation. That is where we drew it from. It has been successfully implemented there and used for about five years.

However, I am comfortable that the amendment that has been put forward by the Greens is eminently workable. I do agree with the fact that it does, in many ways, simplify the bill and make it easier to understand. It makes sure that there can be absolutely no confusion about what we are talking about here, which is that for a prescribed drug, any presence of a prescribed drug in your system is the offence rather than trying to determine a safe or unsafe concentration, which has proved problematic.


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