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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1412..


MR BARR: I apologise, Mr Speaker.

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Let us just move on.

MR BARR: Those opposite might profess to be weather experts—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members.

MR BARR: and if they are so confident, perhaps each of them can get up in the adjournment debate tonight and provide long-range weather forecasts so that we can put their predictions into future contingencies for capital works projects. If they are able to do that, clearly their talents are wasted in this place and they should either be employed as clairvoyants or perhaps go and work for the Bureau of Meteorology.

Roads—cycling accidents

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and is in relation to the recent report by the George Institute for Global Health. This report showed cyclists represent almost 15 per cent of all road casualties, that relatively few crashes were in cycle-only lanes and that on shared paths, 16 per cent of accidents involved pedestrians and 23 per cent involved other cyclists. It showed over half of all crashes were single vehicle crashes, and, in those crashes where another vehicle was involved, they were almost equally motor vehicles and other bicycles. Minister, what is the government doing to reduce the rate of cyclist accidents?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question and acknowledge her interest in cycling and, indeed, her use of cycling infrastructure around this city. What the government is doing is delivering on the commitments we made at the last election and, indeed, the commitments contained in the parliamentary agreement with the Greens around improving walking and cycling infrastructure around the city. I did not hear the beginning of it, but if it is the research commissioned by the NRMA Road Safety Trust—and there is other research, of course, around cycling on-road facilities—it is interesting in the sense that what I took from it was that we need to look at how we encourage sharing of shared paths and an understanding about roles and responsibilities on them.

I do not think it is feasible to believe that we can make the shared paths cycle only or pedestrian only. It would be incredibly expensive and almost impractical to implement. The issues from the research also were about speed limits, and I know it would be very vexed if we put a 20-kilometre speed limit on some of those paths given the speed at which some cyclists use those facilities.


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