During this Stateline edition our new Opposition leader Bill Stefaniak was apparently filmed using a mobile phone while driving, which has been illegal for some years now.
As I said in a comment earlier, the Canberra Times picked up on this in their Sunday paper. It seems it took Mr Stefaniak three separate phone calls to journalist Paul Malone to get his story straight, which is that “he believed he was pulling over to make a call and might well have punched in some numbers while the car was still mobile”. The matter was referred to the police on Friday night and they are reviewing the footage.
Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has now gotten into the act with this extraordinary release in which he calls his opponent “Mr Law-and-Order” (twice) and “Mr Lock-â€˜em-up-and-throw-away-the-key” and recalls that this was the same man “who led the ferocious charge in hounding one of my own staff members out of a job and onto the dole after the staff member was charged with a property crime last year” [the link is mine].
And he continues: “Yet now, his attitude towards the law seems almost disdainful. Not only does it appear that he was so cavalier about traffic laws that he willingly permitted himself to be filmed transgressing those laws, he apparently thinks it is sufficient for him to blandly reassure the public that he will pay any resulting fine, if and when it is imposed.”
Mr Stanhope says Wild Bill should either take his own medicine or explain to the public why a mere staffer has a zero-tolerance policy forced upon him while an elected member of parliament does not.
So which is worse: a bit of graffiti or driving while touching a mobile phone?