Pubdate: Thu, 18 Sep 2008
Source:  Advocate, The (Australia)
Address: 54 Mount St., PO Box 63, Burnie, Tasmania 7320
Copyright: 2008. Fairfax Media
Author: Sean Ford


PREMIER David Bartlett owned up to having smoked dope yesterday, eight
days after The Advocate first asked the question.

Mr Bartlett's simple "yes" admission followed his rival party leaders
- - Liberal Will Hodgman and Green Nick McKim - owning up to past
cannabis use in a story in The Advocate yesterday.

Tony McCall, from the UTAS School of Government, said yesterday's
story showed Mr Bartlett's "zeal for reform and transparency doesn't
appear to extend to his personal habits".

"So be it, but Extending Trust in Democracy should include a simple
answer to a simple question," Mr McCall said.

"His failure to respond does fit an emerging post-state party
conference trend.

"Since the conference, the doyens of the Labor Party have put a brake
on his go-it-alone approach to government and that makes the
manufacture of an answer a complex and contested task."

Meanwhile, Mr Bartlett said parliament would be the proper place to
discuss any proposal for random drug-testing politicians.

"I believe in making informed decisions that are supported by
evidence-based data," he said.

"Nothing has been presented to me on this particular

Murchison independent MLC Ruth Forrest said random drug testing in
workplaces was usually done when people were operating heavy machinery
and/ or responsible for others' safety.

`We might not be responsible for someone's immediate physical safety,
but we are making decisions that affect people where they live and

"We need to have our wits about us.

"I would not have a problem (with testing) at all."
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MAP posted-by: dan