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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3857..


Report No 56 - Government Response

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (3.55): For the information of members I present the following paper:

Planning and Urban Services - Standing Committee - Report No 56 - Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No 3) 1998 (presented 7 September 2000) - Government response, dated December 2000.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

I now table the government's response to report No 56 of the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services. This dealt with the private members bill presented by Ms Tucker, regarding the establishment of a permanent default 50 - kilometre per hour speed limit for all areas of the ACT.

Mr Speaker, the committee made six recommendations that are addressed in detail by the government's response. Addressing the committee's recommendation to implement the trial on local and feeder streets, it is proposed that all residential roads, as defined by the Territory Plan, will be subject to the trial. Signs will be erected at each residential suburb entry point indicating that the 50 - kilometre per hour speed limit applies. Additionally, there will be signs erected at border entry points into the ACT informing motorists of the 50 - kilometre per hour speed limit.

Roads that are within residential suburbs, and are classified as major roads on the Territory Plan, will continue to have 60 kilometre per hour speed limits. The new 60 - kilometre per hour signs will be installed on these roads at regular intervals. Speed limits on subarterial, arterial and parkway roads, as well as in the parliamentary triangle, industrial, and commercial zones, will be unaffected by the trial.

Rather than refer any community objections on particular speed limits back to the committee for examination and report, the government considers that the Department of Urban Services should continue to manage all speed limit reviews.

An extensive public education program will be conducted on the trial, including a letterbox drop to every ACT household, as well as radio and print media advertisements. A comprehensive evaluation of the trial will be conducted, with before and after comparisons of the number and severity of crashes, the speed behaviour of motorists and community attitudes. My department has begun the implementation planning process and it is estimated that the trial will cost $575,000 over three years.

The introduction of reduced speed limits in New South Wales has revealed significant road safety benefits in terms of reduced speeds and fewer crashes in the 50 - kilometre per hour areas. The purpose of this trial is to establish, within the framework of the unique road hierarchy in the ACT, whether similar results will be achieved, and whether there will be an increase in residential amenity, a reduction in speeding and generally safer roads across the ACT.

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