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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2878 ..


Mr Stanhope has just referred to his new drink-driving legislation. I find it surprising that this is going to cause a significant delay to it, particularly given that we are about to go into a winter recess. I think there will be plenty of time to rework the legislation as required and not see it introduced any later than is currently planned. But it is part of the broader process, and we have much work to do.

I remain deeply frustrated that we still have not moved forward to provide decent night-time public transport in this city, to enable people to get home after a night out. Because the reality is people will go out and drink in this town. People will go out and take drugs. They need to get home safely, yet we cannot, despite all the bluster, find the money to say, “We want to provide a means for people to get home safely at the end of a night on the town.”

We need to be realistic about what people are going to do, what young people, particularly, are going to do, because I think all of us in this place have been there. We have all done things when we were younger that we probably sit back now in horror at, thinking we are lucky we did not kill ourselves or some of our mates. We have all done it, and we are lucky that we all survived that process and are still here to tell the tales. We need to be serious about this.

I appreciate the tone of the comments Mr Stanhope has just made about acknowledging the will of the Assembly today, and I hope that the government will move forward and implement this legislation effectively and that the Federal Police will now move along and actually implement this legislation in an effective way. I am sure there will be a bit of work to do to get the exact details right. That is inevitable in the implementation of any legislation. I am hopeful that we do not see further politicking around the implementation of this in order to be able to stand up and say in this place, “See, the Liberals and the Greens got it wrong.” I just cannot fathom the thought that that may happen deliberately.

But an important part of this is also going to be education. Again, I come back just briefly to the government’s own discussion paper, where it says:

Anecdotally, driving under the influence of drugs is becoming increasingly common, as young people in particular use drugs such as cannabis and methamphetamine rather than risk being caught over the BAC limit.

Certainly, from our own anecdotal understanding, young people are doing this, for two reasons: one, they will not get caught under drink-driving laws but they will still be able to achieve the effect that they are seeking from taking substances; and the second part is that there is some perception amongst young people in the community that drugs do not impair your ability to drive. So we have got a real education job to do here. This legislation is an important part of that. As an Assembly, we have now said taking drugs and driving a vehicle is not a good thing to do. It creates danger on the roads for all of us in this community.

We now need to also make sure we do not just put this legislation out there and suddenly people turn up on the side of the road and get a surprise. We need a serious education campaign which will both provide an understanding for people that they


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