Page 50 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022
financial hardship or similar circumstances. Further guidance on this recommendation was detailed in the report.
We recommended the ACT government consult on the adoption of a New South Wales system for waiving traffic fines where the individual is a vulnerable person due to financial hardship, for mental health reasons or otherwise, and we recommended the ACT government review processes for similar road safety changes in future. Additionally, we noted advice from the NRMA and related agencies that made submissions proposing additional warning systems in the reduced 40-kilometre speed zone areas.
On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank everyone who participated in and assisted our inquiry. In particular, I would like to thank my colleagues, Ms Orr and Mr Parton, and our committee secretariat, particularly Joanne Cullen, who once again took on additional duties to produce a very high-quality report in very limited time.
I would now like to make a few comments speaking in my own private capacity as an MLA and as the ACT Greens spokesperson for road safety, transport and active travel. I was really pleased to see some of these recommendations come out. It is really important that, when we are setting up our fines system and when we are administering that, we remember that it affects different people in different ways. Vulnerable people and those who do not earn as much money cannot always afford to pay fines, and it has a really disproportionate impact on people who are already suffering hardship. We have got a system that allows for some waivers, but it is actually very limited on the grounds that it allows waivers to exist.
We also find that mostly people are given work orders, and people who do not have a lot of money do not necessarily have a lot of time either. They are often working multiple jobs or working casual jobs that they do not have a lot of control over. They have caring responsibilities. They cannot necessarily afford to work off their debt.
It is really, really great to see these 40K speed zones and to see slower streets. That really makes all of our community safer and it really encourages active transport. But we have got to make sure that we get our fines system right to go along with that, and it would be really good if we could improve it more along the lines of the New South Wales system.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.48): I stand initially to speak as a member of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. I just want to say first up, “Who could have possibly imagined that Jo Clay, Suzanne Orr and I could come together on such a busy committee and that we could get through the first full year being able to come to a consensus on pretty much everything that has come before us?” I think that is pretty amazing. I do not think that I am breaking committee confidence in any way when I suggest that I believed that we would find it impossible to arrive at a consensus on this report. But somehow we did.
Thanks to my fellow committee members for the way that they conduct themselves in our many meetings and the hearings and, of course, thanks to all those who have assisted us at a secretariat level in what has been a period of turmoil for our