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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 8 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2738..


Mr Osborne: The first one in five years and it is a good one, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hird: On that point of order, Mr Speaker, when you are ready, gentlemen, I have taken advice. I understand that Mr Osborne is a bit slow in learning the standing orders. I am indebted to Mr Osborne for raising this point, but I understand that it is quite in order.

Mr Moore: Mr Speaker, perhaps I can assist Mr Hird.

Mr Osborne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I don't mind being called slow by anyone in this Assembly except Mr Hird.

Mr Hird: Well, you have been referred to by your colleagues on your right as very slow. I just said you were slow, not very slow.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Order! The clerk advises that there is no point of order because Mr Hird has not referred in his question to proceedings in the committee.

Mr Hird: Nice try, Paul.

MR SPEAKER: Do not get too carried away, Mr Hird. He simply asked a question relating to the 50 kilometre speed limit. Had he referred to proceedings in committee that had not come before the Assembly, of course it would be out of order. You are quite right, Mr Hird.

MR SMYTH: Thank you for that ruling, Mr Speaker, and it is quite right. Yes, I have noted the community debate on the 50 kilometres per hour zones with interest, and in particular some of the glaring inconsistencies that have been offered from Labor's spokesman on this issue, Mr Hargreaves. Mr Hargreaves has essentially said that he supports slower speed limits in some local streets, excluding the main residential streets. Why? Because he said slowing down was the key to safer roads. You did. It is here in your press release, Mr Hargreaves. You should read your press release before you deny it.

Mr Hargreaves: Well, read it out.

MR SMYTH: He said it was something that was supported by most states in Australia. I quote Mr Hargreaves: "We should be as safety conscious as they are." That is a direct quote from his press release. Yet Mr Hargreaves, despite voting for their introduction in this place, has since complained continually and bitterly about speed cameras and has not supported their use. That is interesting, Mr Speaker.

Firstly, speed cameras have a demonstrated record of reducing speed and making roads safer, not just here in the ACT, and our data does support that, but across the country, and it is something that Mr Hargreaves denies. Secondly, the use of speed cameras is something that is supported by all other states in Australia, so surely we are being as safety conscious as they are. Yet Mr Hargreaves refuses to acknowledge that they improve road safety for Canberrans. However, he then goes on and uses the same reasoning, with less convincing data to support his reasons, to say that, yes, we must go down to 50 kilometres per hour in some streets because slowing people down must be


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