Uncosted changes to NT Police Administration Act forces HIV, Hepatitis B & C blood testing

Petition Closed

Uncosted changes to NT Police Administration Act forces HIV, Hepatitis B & C blood testing

This petition had 196 supporters

saul territory started this petition to Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles and

We call on Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles to engage in community consultation before debating the uncosted proposed amendments to the Police Administration Act that forces HIV, Hepatitis B & C blood testing of offenders.

The amendments will be debated in NT Parliament on Monday 27 June 2016 - the last sitting day before the 2016 Northern Territory election.

The proposed amendments increase police powers to force an offender to provide a blood sample in order to test for infectious diseases. The proposed amendments name infectious diseases as:
a) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection;
b) Hepatitis B
c) Hepatitis C
d) another disease prescribed by regulation capable of being transmitted by the transfer of a substance.

Some reasons to have a community consultation include…


Unfunded

The proposed changes are unfunded.

Putting the changes into action will be expensive – especially out bush.

The changes will take police and health practitioners away from frontline duties.

That means less police on the beat, less doctors and nurses in emergency departments and clinics.

Infection control

Forcing offenders to have a blood test does not protect police from catching infections.
Universal precautions are used by emergency services personnel all around the world to effectively prevent infections.

Impact on health practitioners

These changes mean health practitioners must take blood from a person who is detained if a police officer provides a disease test authorisation. 
The legislation says health practitioners can ‘use the force that is reasonably necessary for taking the blood sample’.
What does your local health practitioners think about using force to take blood from an offender?
How does that work on a busy night in the RDH or Alice Springs Emergency Department? Or at 3am in the Santa Teresa or Borroloola clinic?

Impacts on Northern Territory courts

If a person refuses to have the blood test, the case may end up in court - for the court to decide if the person has to have a blood test.
This means court time is taken up, slowing down our already overburdened courts.
Legal representation for the offender will put more pressure on our legal services.
What happens to the person being detained for testing while the matter goes to court? Are they still in the lock up? How much will that cost? 

We say these amendments are unjust and counterproductive.

We want sustainable, evidence informed and just outcomes.

Petition Closed

This petition had 196 supporters