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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2456 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

The officers discovered the break-in. When they discovered the hole in the fence they immediately checked on the detainees to see whether there had been a break-out. All detainees were accounted for. The staff there quickly realised that it was clear no-one had broken out and, therefore, the only reasonable conclusion was that someone had broken in. The purpose for which they had broken in was deduced fairly quickly. They made a search and they discovered the drugs. That, Mr Speaker, in my view, is proof of the effectiveness of that institution as a secure institution capable of identifying these sorts of problems in this setting. I have publicly commended the officers concerned for having acted so quickly and discovered those drugs.

Mr Speaker, I do not think there is any adverse inference to be drawn from that incident with respect to officers of the PDC. As I say, in respect of a number of the other allegations made in particular by an officer of the Corrective Services, the police response indicated that the allegations against a number of people, including those in Corrective Services, were quite without foundation. I think we should be relieved as a community that that finding was made.

MR SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Kaine I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of members of the University of the Third Age. Welcome to your Assembly.

ACT Drivers

MR KAINE: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. By way of introduction, my question has to do with driver behaviour in the Territory. I think we could argue that we have probably the best arrangements that you would find anywhere in Australia. We have good roads, we have a competency-based driver training scheme and we have driver awareness programs. On the penalty side, we have some pretty harsh penalties for misbehaviour. We have made it more difficult for people to get their drivers licences back once they have lost them. Yet empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that we have a very poor driving record. You have only to go out on the roads yourself to see people speeding and running red lights. They tailgate and generally behave in a reckless fashion. That, of course, is beginning to reflect in a higher than previous fatality rate, and I think it is reaching proportions that are of major concern. Having regard to all that background, Minister, have you, perhaps in conjunction with the Minister for Justice, developed any kind of a strategy to bring home to Canberrans their responsibilities when they are on the road and to enforce the good legislative regime that we have in place? I think that enforcement is probably the missing ingredient.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Kaine for his question. It is timely that he should ask such a question, given the results of the survey that AAMI, the insurance company, have done that would suggest that we have some of the worst drivers in the country. It is curious that on - - -

Mr Moore: No, they don't say that. The results of the survey in every capital city in Australia were the same.

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