Page 500 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, is any applicant able to seek an exemption, and what evidence do they require to support their exemption request?

MR CORBELL: Again, I would need to seek advice on the specifics of the scheme.

MR COE: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, are there any other professions which require a government issued licence that you are planning to introduce a language skills assessment for?

MR CORBELL: I think there would be a range of professions where an adequate demonstration of the capacity to speak the English language would be a fairly important prerequisite—certainly, for example, in the medical profession.

Roads—drug testing

MR HANSON: A media release dated 17 February 2012, titled “New road safety operations team expands drug driving capability”, states that, since the introduction of random roadside drug testing, 300 tests have been conducted, with 10 tests returning positive results. Attorney-General, has random roadside drug testing legislation been an effective means of addressing those drivers who are driving under the influence of illegal drugs?

MR CORBELL: There is no doubt that random roadside drug testing is an important capability for ACT Policing. It was for that reason that the government ultimately took the decision that it was important to support the legislation.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary.

MR HANSON: Attorney-General, what is the projected number of random roadside drug tests that will be carried out in 2012?

MR CORBELL: ACT Policing anticipate that they will continue to ramp up their capability in terms of the delivery of random roadside drug testing. Last week I announced that ACT Policing have expanded the capability to deliver it alongside their RAPID capability—that is, the capability associated with the detection, through licence plate recognition technology, of unlicensed or unregistered drivers. This expands the number of tests that can be delivered by a larger number of authorised officers, noting that police officers have to be authorised to administer and undertake a random drug test, in the same way that they are required to be authorised to administer and undertake an alcohol breath test. I will come back to Mr Hanson on the exact number, but the police have advised me that the number will be expected to climb to over 1,000 per year.

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