Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3858..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
The government has been cautious in its approach on this matter. The results of the trial will provide guidance on a decision to permanently introduce 50 - kilometre per hour limits.
MR CORBELL (3.59): I certainly welcome the government's response on this important issue and it is encouraging to see that the government has accepted that it is certainly worthwhile establishing a default 50 - kilometre per hour speed limit for the ACT. I must say this is in marked contrast to previous comments from the minister and other members of the government that they did not believe this proposal was warranted. However, I welcome their willingness to adopt an open mind on this matter and their preparedness to implement the measure.
I also welcome the fact that agreement has been reached that the trial will take place across the ACT and will not be confined to particular elements of the territory - particular suburbs, for example - and that roads will be classified in accordance with the road hierarchy criteria that are currently in place on the Territory Plan.
It is interesting to note, also, that the government is prepared to erect signs at all entrances to the territory, on our borders, informing motorists that the default speed limit will be 50 kilometres per hour unless otherwise signposted. I am also pleased to see that the government is prepared to spend the money to undertake an extensive public education program.
All of these measures, I believe, will result in a significant improvement in road safety, particularly in residential areas, for pedestrians and for others who use our local neighbourhood streets. I look forward to the implementation of this measure, and I look forward to the process that is to be undertaken.
I would have to say that one thing that is very important here, Mr Speaker, is that the government adequately funds the process of community education to make sure that people are fully aware of the new speed limit. It is important that residents are fully informed of the rationale and also the process for implementing a 50 - kilometre per hour speed limit. The Labor Party will certainly be watching carefully to see whether the $575,000 allocated over three years is adequate to properly inform the Canberra community on this important road safety reform.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (4.01): For the information of members, I present the following paper:
Air Pollution - Wood heating - The government's report to the ACT Legislative Assembly on its response to a motion relating to air pollution caused by wood heating.