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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2874 ..


currently have, because what will occur is that a police officer will be able to use a positive test as part of a suspicion to search a vehicle.

I have read very carefully the words from the Chief Police Officer that were released yesterday, and he saw that a positive drug test should form part of a suite of indicators that a police officer assesses when forming their level of suspicion regarding possible drug offences under the Crimes Act. The way that the legislation is written, now that the amendment is in place to say that a positive drug test can form part of that suspicion, I think meets and is in accord with the Chief Police Officer’s statements, and it is certainly in accord with discussions I have had with the AFPA.

I will just make the point that, although we did not see a need for this, I am comfortable that the amendment, as it is written—and we have sought real clarification on this—does not limit the powers of the police to conduct searches. They still have the powers they had previously and in many ways in addition now they have the extra level of suspicion that they can use, which is a positive test. So we are comfortable supporting the amendments.

So, as I said in conclusion to the amendments now being taken as a whole, most of them are about issues we have discussed regarding impairment and concentration levels, and there are the other two elements, one that we support and the other we are happy to support, although we do see it as probably unnecessary.

Amendments agreed to.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (11.40): I will not speak for long. I will take the opportunity just before the final vote to acknowledge the work that members have put into this legislation.

It is legislation that each of us in one form or another has sought to achieve. It is unfortunate that the Assembly, I believe, has not covered itself with glory in relation to the way in which this legislation has been constructed—and, indeed, in the way that it has not consulted with the community about or on the content of the legislation. I think that is a pity and there are lessons there for all of us to learn in relation to cooperation on major pieces of legislation.

Having said that, it is an outcome that I hope serves the community well. The government has certainly expressed its commitment to the need to ensure that our roads are as safe as they can be made. We all know intuitively though that the evidence is not perhaps as concrete or as confirmed or as firm as we would normally like in relation to legislation that does have significant impacts on liberties and freedoms.

At the end of the day, you know, we always need to be mindful as legislators when we are enacting criminal legislation, that, as a consequence of the legislation about to be passed, there are criminal implications. People will, as a result of this legislation, lose their liberty. There are people who will be subjected to the criminal law in its full


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