Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2879 ..
should not be doing it and will also mean that, if they do take the risk and get caught, then they are fair game, because they have made a conscious choice to risk the lives of others on our roads in the territory—because at the end of the day, this is a road safety initiative. The Greens are pleased to have been able to work with Mr Hanson and the Liberal team to get this sorted—to get strong legislation that we believe will make a difference for road users in the ACT.
MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.55): I will be brief because I believe Mr Rattenbury has summed up the key issues from the Greens’ perspective on this bill. I will just reiterate what Mr Rattenbury has said about the educative process and program that will need to follow this sort of legislation, as it has in other states.
We know that most drivers, young people in particular, are aware that alcohol does impede their ability to drive. But a lot of people do not know that drugs also impede that ability. That has been brought out through a number of surveys that have been done in Victoria in relation to the programs they have put in place. I think that having that education program will be an extremely important part of it. As Mr Rattenbury said, this is about improving road safety in the ACT. That has been the driving objective behind this for the Greens.
The amendments we put forward were very much in relation to the principles we outlined in the submission we put to the government’s discussion paper. As Mr Rattenbury said earlier too, we did allow that consultation process to go ahead and we thought that was an extremely important part of all this, noting that there had been quite a substantive discussion about this a couple of years ago when the idea was first put forward. There was a forum, or a number of different groups made presentations, and I think the issues brought up then were consistent with the issues that came up this time in relation to this bill.
I will also thank Mr Hanson. I think we have had good discussions on this and have gone forward. We may have been coming from different points of view on this particular legislation, but we were able to come to a point of agreement and, I think, improve on the original bill and put forward amendments which went to addressing the issues and the concerns which came forward from a number of groups. As I said earlier, it may not go all the way to addressing all of their concerns, but from the discussions we have had with these groups we do think that we have improved on the bill; in particular, we have improved the civil liberties and human rights aspects.
I will just reiterate what Mr Rattenbury said about the frustration that the Greens have been experiencing in relation to bills on ideas that the Greens have come up with and put forward. Often, they have been on issues where we have had to wait a number of years for legislation to come forward, because we were waiting for COAG or other sorts of processes, and we have got to the point of being sick of waiting and have put forward legislation. Then, all of a sudden, the government has come forward with legislation—or regulations, which the government has the power to do.
It has been a very frustrating process in that, instead of having genuine engagement where everyone agrees that something needs to happen on a particular issue, there seems to be this competition over whose idea it is, which does nothing to serve the people of the ACT. I think this bill has shown that we can work together, even when