Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2016) . . Page.. 91 ..
Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (No 2)
Debate resumed from 29 October 2015, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.41): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this legislation. It is a bill that makes a number of changes to laws pertaining to road transport, licences and police powers with regard to drink-driving offences. It allows, as it states in the explanatory statement, for electronic service of infringement notices. Importantly, in addition to postal services currently required, it allows for infringement notice declarations to be completed online. It creates consistency in the appeal rights of drivers who face automatic disqualification of their drivers licence for drink and drug offences. That makes the ACT consistent with other jurisdictions. It changes and removes laws for police with regard to how they can deal with individuals who have potentially committed an offence of drug or drink driving, failed to stop or left a traffic accident and moved into, essentially, their residence. It means that the police have certain powers to go into someone’s residence and complete testing.
There are a range of changes that make sense. When I looked at the scrutiny of bills report, which has made a couple of comments to the minister that have not required any response, I think these appear to be sensible changes and a move forward in terms of moving into the modern age, particularly with regard to the use of web and electronic-based devices for infringement notices and so on. We will support this legislation. But, like any changes, it will need to be monitored to make sure that, as it rolls out, it is effective.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Corrections, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Road Safety) (4.44), in reply: I am pleased to close the debate on the Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (No 2) and I thank Mr Hanson for his comments today. The bill makes a number of amendments to the road transport legislation to improve road safety and improve the administration and enforcement of the road transport legislation. Some of the amendments made by the bill will also support the government’s digital Canberra action plan, allowing this government to better engage with citizens and deliver services more efficiently.
The first amendment removes from the Crimes Act a police power of entry to arrest for a drink or drug-driving offence. The existing provisions are redundant as police operate under the provisions of the road transport legislation, not the Crimes Act, when dealing with drug and drink-driving offences. The bill replaces this power with a limited power to enter premises to require alcohol or drug screening tests.
Noting the power allows people to enter into a driver’s home, the bill appropriately requires a number of particular pre-conditions to be satisfied before the power can be exercised. The first of these pre-conditions is that police must have a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed a drink or drug-driving offence. The act does not prescribe the ways in which a police officer may gain such a suspicion, but in