Page 4788 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005
Today I table the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) (Random Drug Testing) Amendment Bill 2005.
Mr Stanhope: Otherwise known as the redneck bill.
MR PRATT: It seeks to enhance community safety, which the Chief Minister would otherwise ignore and label this as a redneck bill because he does not give a damn about enhancing community safety in the ACT. He is much more concerned about defaulting to his ridiculous human rights position first, at the expense of community safety. We know your track record well, Mr Stanhope.
The purpose of this bill is to amend the act to allow for random drug testing to be conducted alongside or independent of random breath testing. This bill brings us in line with other states that have already introduced and have been using similar legislation to target, with high levels of success, drug-driving.
Mr Hargreaves: Rubbish.
MR PRATT: Expert opinion throughout the country is deeply concerned about the level of drug taking by drivers. I know you are not, Mr Hargreaves, but the broader Australian community is. The concern is that drug taking and driving in fact is beginning to eclipse drink-driving. The Victorian experience demonstrates this.
Mr Stanhope: National service would fix this.
Mr Hargreaves: The success of the Victorian model!
MR PRATT: We know that the Chief Minister’s and Mr Hargreaves’s heads are so firmly inserted in the sand that they have got no idea at all what the Victorian experience has been. I would closely question whether the reported increases in road rage behaviour as well as increasingly reckless speeding and burnouts are because of the taking of methamphetamines.
Mr Hargreaves: How about Sudafed?
MR PRATT: We know that Mr Hargreaves and the Chief Minister do not give a damn about trying to arrest the level of burnout and hoon driving in the ACT. We know that by their demonstrated behaviour, by their failure to equip our police force with the instruments that they need to ensure that these reckless behaviours do not occur. We know that they do not give a damn. We know that the Chief Minister has failed and that Mr Hargreaves does not give a toss about ensuring that our police are either properly resourced or given the legal instruments to ensure that hoon driving, burnouts and drug-driving do not occur.
It is clear from statistics that these and similar drugs are dramatically on the increase in society. So it is logical that reckless driving must also be increasing. Reckless and hoon driving, in the ACT particularly, is an issue of increasing concern, reported by constituents and frustrated police more than ever before. With the climbing road death toll in the ACT and the reports in the media of court cases where drivers in the ACT and