Page 4789 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005

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nearby Queanbeyan were shown to have been significantly impaired by drugs, this legislation is urgently needed.

Mr Hargreaves: What stats? No stats!

MR PRATT: Bark on, Mr Hargreaves. Do not care one millimetre about the broader protection of the ACT community, will you? We know your track record.

An investigation was undertaken in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria of a significant case load of people killed in road accidents. Twenty-five per cent had been found to have drugs other than alcohol in their systems.

Mr Hargreaves: Sudafed.

MR PRATT: Mainly cannabis and stimulants, for example, methamphetamines, were identified in those particular cases. Perhaps this will floor Mr Hargreaves and he might shut up and listen: a smaller, less reliable case load examined in Queensland earlier than 2001 found 40 per cent were cannabis affected. These findings are startling. Take note, Mr Hargreaves; take note, Chief Minister. Let us see a bit more responsibility from you people on enhancing community safety. The full understanding of the depth of the drug habit in society would seem to be well underestimated and certainly well underestimated by this mob.

In Victoria we have seen surprising results on roadside drug testing of drivers. Five times as many drivers have been found to be drug affected as those found to be over the limit for drinking. Take note, gentlemen: five times as many people were found to be over the limit for drug-driving than drink-driving.

New research conducted by insurance company AAMI shows that 10 per cent of ACT motorists believe that using recreational drugs does not affect their driving ability and that 12 per cent of Canberra drivers have admitted that taking to the roads after using drugs such as marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy is okay. Take note of that. Measure the community attitude against this sort of behaviour but also, gentlemen, measure the research on the attitudes of a reckless minority in the ACT. Rather than sit here pooh-poohing the legislation that is needed to arrest these concerns, take it on yourself to show some responsibility for introducing laws and instruments that will better protect your community, the community that you are supposed to be here to govern.

These trials and testings would seem to indicate a number of things: firstly, a surprising number of people drive drug affected. Secondly, based on comparative statistics, the incidence of drink-driving has clearly reduced, underscoring the vital importance of roadside testing as a strategy. RBTs have clearly impacted in a very positive way on the Australian and the ACT landscapes. The incidence of drink-driving is coming down because a culture has been developed that if you drink and drive you have got a damn good chance of being arrested and of having your car and your licence taken away from you. Why would you not apply the same logic to tackling the drug-driving problem that is clearly becoming an issue across the ACT and the Australian landscapes?

Earlier this year, AAMI found widespread support for random drug testing of drivers through research conducted as part of its annual crash index. Nationally, 90 per cent of

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