Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1921 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
I wonder how many members present have had their drink spiked. I have on at least two occasions that I am aware because people actually confessed to it. One was in the mid-1980s when I was just having a quiet drink after work and had to get a lift home with someone because one of the blokes present had spiked my drink. He fessed up to it about four years later. I was not terribly impressed, I can say. It was a bit of a surprise. I laughed it off at the time and just went home.
Mr Quinlan: I told you not to play rugby, Bill.
MR STEFANIAK: On another occasion-it wasn't to do with rugby union; actually, I think it was to do with soccer-someone else who was a friend thought that it would be quite funny to put a bit of vodka in my schooner of beer. I remember that one; it was quite a good night. I had the sense to get a taxi home when I thought I had had enough. This character fessed up to spiking my drink and thought that it was funny. I got home, but what would have happened otherwise? On those two occasions it happened in a sense of fun, but I am sure that quite often, even in a sense of fun, something much more serious will occur. Such incidents probably do result from football mates getting together, Mr Quinlan, but things can go wrong and there can be some sort of incident involving the person whose drink was spiked, something unintended, and problems can flow from what people thought initially was a harmless act. The consequences of drink spiking can be very serious even when people are supposedly doing so in a sense of fun.
A lot can still be done in terms of ensuring that the deliberate spiking of drinks to effect a nefarious purpose, an evil purpose, a wrongdoing purpose, is countered as much as possible and of encouraging people who think it is a lot of fun to spike a mate's drink to desist from that practice because of some of the real problems that can flow from it. The opposition will be supporting this motion and is looking forward to seeing what the government and government agencies will be doing in relation to this matter.
MRS DUNNE (11.58): Mr Speaker, this matter is of considerable concern, I am sure, for parents and others. I note that Ms Gallagher's motion talks particularly about women, but recent discussions I had with the registrar of liquor licensing indicated that men are equally vulnerable to this act. It is dangerous, it is irresponsible and on many occasions it is done not, as Mr Stefaniak portrayed, as a jolly joke, but with malicious intent. Today, we are concerned, in particular, about the people who do so with malicious intent. Men and women are almost equally the victims and there does not seem to be a particular age group that is more victimised than another.
As Mr Stefaniak said, my eldest daughter works in the liquor industry at the moment. She has told me about approval of some of the swizzle sticks and tear-off strips for coasters being held up by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. I would hope that the Therapeutic Goods Administration will see its way clear soon to allow them onto the market in Australia because they will be of assistance.
One of the most important things that I think we should be doing is encouraging the educating of our young people about the risks of drink spiking. Only recently, about three or four weeks ago, my daughter told me a story about a whole group of young girls, all aged 18, coming into a bar in which she worked on a Thursday or Friday night to