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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 473 ..



That breath analysis test is conducted on a different machine - a machine that gives a print-out in triplicate. There are certain things on the print-out that indicate the time the test is being taken and the number of tests in the sequence of tests. It is a machine that self-tests with a zero reading prior to a person's breath test, it gives a reading after that breath test and it finishes by giving another zero reading to indicate that the machine is working properly. The print-out also indicates the reading of the person's breath alcohol. Obviously, if it is below .05, the driver is immediately released and is able to leave the station and go home. If the reading is over .05, there are several options that can be taken into consideration by the police officer and other people dealing with the situation, ranging from a diversionary conference, through summons, to arrest, if necessary.

The section 10A certificate itself is a small document that shows the things that the police officer has written in his notebook. Invariably, you can never find one at the station. If you look particularly hard, you might find one down the back of a drawer or under a table somewhere. You fill it out and give the defendant a copy. Then you go to the actual documentation that you have to fill out for your brief. That document is a sequential thing. It says the time, date, place, who it is, who the police officer is - all the details necessary in a fairly sequential order. The only area on that document that is out of sequence is the little position where you write the number of the section 10A certificate. It just does not follow. It is a superfluous piece of paper that they cannot even get in the right spot on the actual brief.

If the section 10A certificate were done away with, what would be the answer? What is wrong with attaching a photocopy of the police officer's notebook to the brief? It could be chronologically sequenced then on top of the brief. Mr Speaker, it would be my view that that would suffice and that that ought to satisfy the court that the police officer's first meeting was the time indicated by the photocopy of the notebook entry. My personal view, Mr Speaker, would be that if that was seen as inappropriate it would be yet another example of how the court system is being clogged up by ridiculous, mischievous and unnecessary proceedings. I support Mr Hargreaves' amendment to the Act.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (10.57): Mr Speaker, I do not think anyone could accuse the ACT Government of being hostile to the work that the Australian Federal Police do in this town. Indeed, very often in this place we have been accused of getting up to push through some piece of legislation that has the effect of overly endowing the police with powers necessary to do their job. The move-on powers debate is a good example of that. It raged for quite a few years in this place. So, I do not rise in this debate in any sense as an opponent of making the job of the Australian Federal Police any easier. On the contrary, I strongly support that being the case. But the issue in this debate is whether the removal of a section 10A certificate actually achieves that purpose.

Mr Speaker, I want to put to the Assembly that it does not do that, or at least has the serious potential not to do that. Let me address first of all the civil liberty argument about the section 10A certificate. That certificate is a document, a copy of which is handed to a motorist at the point where it has been issued. It is a piece of information available to the motorist when he or she has been pulled over. It tells them the details. I assume the reading is shown on it and the - - -

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