Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas has welcomed today’s extraordinary backflip by the Rann Government to include ecstasy belatedly in the state’s drug driving testing regime.
“This is a major embarrassment for Mr Rann and Road Safety Minister Zollo, as they have strongly opposed Liberal Party calls for change for months,” Mr Lucas said today.
“The Liberal Party has previously expressed disbelief at the Rann Government’s refusal to list MDMA or ecstasy alongside the two prescribed drugs (THC and speed) under its legislation.
“In response to persistent questioning as recently as June, Road Safety Minister Carmel Zollo refused to consider the inclusion of ecstasy and insisted matters would be reviewed after a 12-month trial.
“The detection of pure ecstasy is extremely rare, it is not what’s out there in the street, it is not what is killing our people on the roads.”
Carmel Zollo, ABC Radio, 19 June 2006
“We may well need to change our legislation after the first 12 months. This is a trial piece of legislation in South Australia.”
Carmel Zollo, Hansard, 20 June 2006
“The Government’s refusal was particularly baffling given that Victoria had amended its legislation to include ecstasy, and Western Australia was moving down the same path.
“Indeed, legislation is being introduced in New South Wales today to drug test drivers for speed, cannabis and ecstasy.
“If the potential consequences weren’t so serious it would be laughable just how far the Rann Government was finding itself out of step with other Labor State Governments around the country.
“The Liberal Party welcomes the embarrassing backflip announced by Mr Rann today, and notes this is not the first backflip the Government has had to perform over its shoddy handling of road safety legislation.
“In June, the Government changed its previously stated position and announced that police would, after all, test drunk drivers for drugs as well.”