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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2640..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

lanes, an initiative of the Stanhope government on coming to office in 2001, there have not been any cyclists killed on our roads in those cycle lanes. We have had one accident involving a cyclist. In fact, that person was halfway through an intersection and not on the cycle lane. The on-road cycle lanes have given cyclists their own lane, instead of having them go down the middle of the road and dodge vehicles. They are considerably safer on the cycle lanes than they were previously.

Mr Pratt: No, they are not. You are operating in a fool's paradise.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt interjects that we are operating in a fool's paradise. Over the last few days I have had numerous emails to me personally congratulating the government on its cycle lane policy, whether it be cycle paths, shared paths or on-road cycle lanes. Not only is it a very successful one, I think it is so successful that I can undertake quite clearly now, and indicate to the Assembly quite clearly now, that it is now an integral part of our planning process. Whenever we do a new road, it is automatic that that will be included in it.

Mr Pratt interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, Mr Pratt asked me a question and has not had the courtesy to be quiet and listen to the answer. Perhaps he would like to do that.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I am quite happy to wait until they cease that, and I will try and answer the question. It is very difficult to do it over the top of them. As I have already indicated, Mr Pratt's question is multifaceted and I am answering the first bit first.

The slip lanes are now painted green, as we know. Cyclists are entitled to use the road under the same conditions as motorists. I have to caution motorists: they have to give way to oncoming traffic, and a cyclist on a road is a vehicle on that road. They are vehicles on the road. If in fact the scenario painted by Mr Pratt in the media recently was two vehicles—two cars—and not a cyclist and a car, then clearly the car on the outside would have been at fault. The fact that it happens to be a cyclist in the cyclist's own lane means nothing. The vehicles coming up the slip lane have to give way to cars coming along the road—and they will give way. Indeed, they have to give way to any vehicle coming along there, whether it be a car, a bicycle, a bus or a horse and carriage.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: under standing order 118 (b) the minister cannot debate the subject. He was asked whether he would do a safety audit. He has not mentioned the word "audit".

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, as you well know, the standing orders provide five minutes for the minister to answer the question. He has to remain relevant to the subject.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I think I have debunked the position Mr Pratt put out to the media recently.

Mr Pratt: Have you debunked the magistrate?


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