Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 532 ..


Debate resumed.

MR OSBORNE (4.09): Mr Speaker, I will be supporting this legislation. My office has made contact with the Australian Federal Police Association, which I said that I intended to do, and relayed the possible consequences of this legislation. The police association have indicated that they are more than happy for the legislation to be passed and to go to court. I am still somewhat nervous about it, Mr Speaker, but I will give the police association the benefit of the doubt on this issue. I just hope that in six months' time we will not be back here overturning this decision because of police finding that they have to go to court every time. I have waged this campaign for many years, Mr Speaker: I think that magistrates should just take what the police say as gospel. I think that we waste a lot of time on court matters through defending solicitors daring to hector police who do not get it right every time. I hope that the magistrates will adopt this very sound philosophy on this issue. As I said, Mr Speaker, I am still unsure of what the outcome will be, but police are very supportive of Mr Hargreaves' Bill. I shall therefore support it.

MR HARGREAVES (4.11), in reply: I took on board what Mr Humphries was talking about this morning, but it did not quite ring true with me. As Mr Rugendyke put it quite well today when he described the process - - -

Ms Tucker: He didn't talk about the certificate at all.

MR HARGREAVES: He talked about the process, and if we can revisit the process just a little bit - - -

Ms Tucker: He didn't talk about that.

MR HARGREAVES: Are we all finished? Okay. He talked about the process. I would like to go through it again just a little and refer as I do to the things that Mr Humphries was talking about. One of the big concerns Mr Humphries had was about proving when the two-hour timeframe kicked off. Firstly, Mr Speaker, I have here the sheet which is filled out by another constable when everybody is pulled up. It does not matter whether you are positive or negative, there is a record of the time the vehicle is actually stopped on the roadside for a random breath test. It is a fact, Mr Speaker, that currently a section 10A certificate is filled out. It does not contain the signature of the motorist, Mr Speaker; it has just got the signature of the policeman on it.

Ms Tucker: It's got the test result on it, too.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I have heard it said that it has the test result on it. As a matter of fact, it has not. All it says is that the test is negative or positive. It is true that the presence of a positive test at the roadside is insufficient proof to convict in a court. That is why the people are taken back to the police station to undergo a test. When they undergo the test, Mr Speaker, the strip I show you on this document is actually filled in. That strip is what actually convicts people. The other part is merely proof that the policeman had sufficient suspicion to ask you to go and do that.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .