Page 4458 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 22 November 2005

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disconnect with the ACT Assembly and the people in terms of the delivery of essential services. I would also like to comment on the hypocrisy that we have just had demonstrated over there regarding the allegations about Mrs Dunne and an email document. Compared with the fantastic betrayal by Mr Stanhope of the federal government’s draft counter-terrorism legislation, I find it monumentally hypocritical that we should be concerned about that.

Ms Gallagher: Was it given to Mrs Dunne or has she taken it—stolen it? It is a little bit different.

MR PRATT: We are talking here of a degree of difference of a ratio of about 1,000:1. Well done the national interest!

Ms Gallagher: A bill versus private correspondence.

MR PRATT: Well done the national interest!

MR SPEAKER: Order! Conversations across the chamber are disorderly. Direct your comments through the chair.

MR PRATT: I turn my attention to the incidence of drug driving. I would like to point out to the Assembly concerns raised in recent days by AAMI, which has undertaken an analysis of driving behaviour in the ACT that, very interestingly, dovetails with a range of trials and reviews conducted round the country. Today, I renew my calls for drug driving tests, at least trialing that concept, to be undertaken in the ACT. I will be tabling legislation in December to encourage the government to take that up and put in place something that I believe is essential to driver safety and community safety in the ACT.

We have had, for example, the insurance company AAMI referring today to a report which would indicate that 10 per cent of ACT motorists reviewed think that recreational drug use is kind of okay and it does not really affect their driving ability. The picture drawn by AAMI is one that we should be taking a strong look at and be quite deeply concerned about.

The research by AAMI also found that 12 per cent of Canberra’s drivers had admitted to taking drugs and then taking to the roads and that in many cases marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy have been in their system when they have jumped behind the wheel. The AAMI analysis found widespread support across this country for random drug testing of drivers. After analysing their crash index and then talking to the public, they found that there was a strong feeling amongst 90 per cent of the people across this nation for the introduction of those sorts of strategies.

I call upon the Stanhope government, as we did in July, to at least implement a trial. Take a look at the Victorian model and get something going here as well. I note that Premier Bracks said yesterday that Victoria is continuing its roadside random drug testing beyond the initial 12-month trial period and that his government is so convinced by the results of that trial that it is likely to become institutionalised as a normal instrument of government. So concerned are they about what they have found in their analysis of driver behaviour that they will seriously consider increasing penalties against drivers who have been found to have drugs in their system at the time they are pulled up.

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