Page 1722 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 5 May 2010

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concentration of the drug present in the blood or oral fluid of a person would be an offence. What that is saying is that any concentration of an illicit drug is an offence.

The reason that we prescribe a level is because Victoria’s model is a drug and alcohol bill. Obviously, alcohol is a legal substance and there is a prescribed limit, and we know that that is .05. But for illicit drugs the quantity is zero. That language that I have used is the exact same language from the Victorian bill, and I will read now from the Victorian legislation, which Jon Stanhope supported in February and said his own scheme was based on but which he is now criticising. The Victorian legislation states:

… “prescribed concentration of drugs” means, in the case of a prescribed illicit drug, any concentration of the drug present in the blood or oral fluid of that person.

It is exactly the same language. Every single argument Mr Stanhope has raised today is based on the absolutely false premise that my legislation would allow safe limits of driving under the influence of illicit drugs. This is a scheme, I would like to add, that has been successfully implemented in Victoria since 2003. It has been running there very successfully. As far as I am aware, there have been no court cases that have challenged those results, and what we find is that 50,000 tests a year in Victoria have been conducted. So Mr Stanhope’s whole argument attacking my bill is based on an absolute falsity.

It is quite clear that the government does not want to work with the opposition on this bill. When I tabled the legislation in December I said:

… I wish to state that the opposition is happy to work with the government and the Greens on this bill. The community expect us to act on this and they will not tolerate any political party that plays politics with road safety and with people’s lives.

I have worked with the Greens. I have to say that we have had a number of meetings on this and they put in submissions and they have worked cooperatively with us on this issue. But I have had absolutely nothing from the government except for false criticism put out in very hurried press releases. In fact, I wrote to Mr Stanhope in February and implored him to work with me on this. I have received no response. The only response that we have seen from Mr Stanhope has been a series of press releases that he has put out that have criticised my legislation absolutely falsely. There is absolutely no argument in any of his criticisms.

The second point that he has made in his press release—I am not sure if he is sticking by this one now because it was hurriedly issued in February—is that my legislation requires the police to prove that the impairment was directly caused by the drug rather than some other factor such as fatigue or illness.

Mr Seselja: Was he not telling the truth in his press release?

MR HANSON: I think there is quite a clear indication that he was not. My legislation does not do that. It actually states that if a police officer has reasonable cause to suspect that a person’s behaviour or appearance indicates that a person may be

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