Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3421 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Mr Speaker, The Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 1999 is to amend various Acts and repeal certain Acts because of the enactment of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999, the Road Transport (General) Act 1999, the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 and the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act 1999, and for other purposes.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hargreaves ) adjourned.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (10.52): Mr Speaker, I present the Drugs in Sport Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum and a copy of my speech.
Title read by Clerk.
MR STEFANIAK: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, I have pleasure in presenting this Bill. The use of banned performance enhancing substances by athletes has received wide publicity and general condemnation in recent years. Internationally, this has resulted in most sports adopting laws, codes of practice, rules and sanctions covering their use.
Publicity is especially high in Olympic years and host nations are subject to particular scrutiny as to their drugs policies and practices. The need for a uniform national approach to drug testing in Australia prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics is therefore essential. The Sport and Recreation Ministers Council (SRMC) agreed that there was a need for state and territory sport drug testing legislation to enable the Australian Sports Drug Agency (ASDA) to exercise drug testing functions on a wider group of athletes than was possible under the ASDA Act.
Most recent changes to international regulations have prompted changes to Commonwealth legislation, with the recently passed Australian Sports Drug Agency (Amendment) Act 1999, including amendments to enable state and territory complementary legislation to have effect. ASDA's role is to educate the sporting and general community on health and fair play issues related to drug use in sport and to carry out drug sampling and testing of sports people at sporting events, during training and out of competition.
ASDA was limited to testing of national level athletes who had been selected to compete as Australian representatives in international sporting competitions, or had been assessed as having the potential to represent Australia. The ACT Drugs in Sport Bill 1999, which I now present, recognises the need to carry out some testing on state level athletes, the future national elite, to spread the drug testing deterrent to a wider target. The Bill enables ASDA to conduct sports drug testing and associated functions in respect of defined categories of ACT athletes.