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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1723 ..

impaired for a reason other than alcohol alone, the police officer may require the person to undergo an assessment for impairment.

We are still waiting to see the government’s legislation. But the criticism of mine went even further. In the press release dated 24 February, Jon Stanhope said that my bill would allow a driver to get behind the wheel high on cocaine or LSD as long as their blood levels did not exceed an unspecified safe level. If that is not scaremongering, if that is not trying to say to the community, “Under Hanson’s bill, people are going to be driving around on cocaine and LSD as long as their levels don’t exceed an unspecified safe level,” I do not know what is. That is scaremongering. A very simple reading of my bill, which is based on the Victorian legislation, would have shown that, for an illicit drug, any concentration is an offence. Everything he said in his scaremongering press releases has been false.

Another criticism he made was in terms of the number of drugs that I prescribed. I prescribed two drugs. Victoria has three, but when they first introduced their legislation they prescribed two, the same two that I have prescribed. But the regulations allow the minister to prescribe further drugs. That allows flexibility in this legislation. It does not mean that for all drugs that are not listed you simply get away with it. It is now for the minister to determine, based on the testing regime and equipment that is introduced by the government, what drugs will be tested for. Again, that is a point of false criticism from Mr Stanhope.

It is true that I have introduced an amendment. I circulated that on 17 March, but I would like to specify that that is an important technical amendment that was picked up by the drafting office. It relates to using the results of oral fluid tests and proceedings for an offence under the act. This was an omission that was identified following the tabling of the bill in December, and it is central to the operation of the bill. I accept that. I note that the scrutiny of bills committee also identified this, and I thank them for their comments in picking that up. I also thank the parliamentary counsel’s office, who have been invaluable in their assistance in drafting this. It was a technical amendment; the bill is entirely workable.

We have reached a point today where we will agree in principle, and I am very glad of that. That sends a very clear message to the community that random roadside drug testing is coming. The community has got to a point where it is doubtful after seven years of inaction by the Stanhope government that this is ever going to happen. We have seen that confirmed by their failure to do what they promised and actually bring forward any legislation, even draft legislation, for us to look at to compare. Maybe that is because when Jon Stanhope said in February that his regime was based on the Victorian model and then realised that mine was also, he has had to reverse his position and come up with something new and he is struggling to do it. I simply do not know.

I look forward to the results of the consultation, but I note that back in 2008 and since this legislation was introduced in Victoria and since the opposition brought in a bill in 2005, there have been numerous roundtables and consultations. In fact, there was a government paper, and submissions were received from ACT Policing, the Australian Trucking Association, Civil Liberties Australia, Clinical Forensics ACT, Drug Free

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