Page 2437 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013
I am pleased to say that Mr Corbell has written to me committing the government to using an equitable pricing model. His letter says that the government will do this through the arrangements with the private providers. When calling for expressions of interest, the government will seek to have arrangements that include discounted rates for those in financial hardship or other arrangements for payment by instalment, or both.
Noting that evidence about the long-term efficacy of interlocks is still inconclusive, I have also asked that the government review the operation, effectiveness and costs of the ACT’s interlock scheme after a suitable period of time. This should include an assessment of the effectiveness of the therapeutic aspects of the scheme. There is no use administering an interlock scheme as a symbolic gesture. It has to be effective in improving road safety and reducing the rate of recidivism.
I suggested that the review commence after three years to allow the collection of adequate data about re-offending and that its results are reported to the Assembly. Mr Corbell wrote to me agreeing to a review beginning in the 2015-16 financial year and I thank him for that. It is appropriate that the directorate immediately start developing a framework for that review.
In recognition of this, it is appropriate that the government does not alter the offences to which mandatory alcohol interlock conditions apply until the review has been completed. Under the bill, mandatory interlock conditions will apply to drink-drivers who have committed three or more offences within five years and offenders with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.15 grams. This is consistent with recommendations on best practice such as those from the Western Australian repeat drink-drive working group and the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety. This can be changed through the regulation. However the government has confirmed to me through Mr Corbell’s letter that it will not modify the group of drivers to which the scheme applies prior to the review.
ACT Policing drink-driving statistics show that a large proportion of people apprehended for drink-driving are actually in the medium to high blood alcohol range or are repeat offenders. This interlock scheme as currently framed will apply to a significant number of people.
In conclusion, the Greens will support this legislation. Alcohol interlocks can be effective if part of a best practice scheme. The ACT’s scheme does appear to be set up in a considered way. I also thank Mr Corbell for his assurances that the implementation of the scheme will address several matters I was concerned about—in particular, that the scheme will include a flexible, equitable payment system and that the scheme will undergo a review three years from now. I will be supporting the bill today.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.47): I thank members for their support