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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12797


Mr TUDGE (Aston) (13:54): A driver's licence is critical to everyday life for most Australians. That is why I am so concerned about a new standard introduced by Austroads and the National Transport Commission that may unfairly deny a licence to thousands of diabetes sufferers. Diabetes sufferers must really take extra precautions when driving and follow strict medical guidelines. The new standard, however, requires a glycated haemoglobin level of less than nine per cent, which is an arbitrary figure that will diminish doctor discretion. This standard was introduced without consulting diabetics and is at odds with key research which states that the risks of driving with diabetes are 'not sufficient to warrant further restrictions to driving privileges'. The change will greatly disadvantage people like father and daughter Malcolm and Tahlia Whittle, who both have diabetes and now face uncertainty as to whether they can retain their licences. This standard must be reviewed urgently. We should be doing everything we can to help Australia's 900,000 diabetics, not making life harder for them with rigid regulation.