Page 2116 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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Motion to take note of petitions

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the petitions and responses so lodged be noted.

Roads—speed limits—petition 18-22

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (10.53): I briefly want to speak to the petition from Principal Joe Zavone of St Edmund’s College.

The section of Canberra Avenue between Hume Circle and Barrallier Street currently acts as a wall, stopping students from safely arriving and leaving both St Edmund’s College and St Clare’s College. We are trying to encourage active transportation for students to get to and from school, and this 60 kilometre an hour section of the road is a major deterrent.

For students who live north, the closest signalised crossings of Canberra Avenue are at least a kilometre, if not more, away on either side of the school, being at Captain Cook Crescent to the west and Nyrang Street to the east. The fact is, students are not going to be walking a further kilometre to make this detour, and it makes crossing this dangerous road a very appealing option.

There are also cafes and other businesses to the north of Canberra Avenue which act as magnets for older students in their break times, and they are crossing the busy street.

The school has been told that the only issue is parents dropping students in the median strip of Canberra Avenue, and this is not an issue. The school has been very clear, and the principal has been very clear, that this is not an issue. The issue is having a 60 kilometre an hour dual carriageway street that is bordering on two colleges.

The number of signatures gained in a very short period of time shows just how much the school communities of both St Edmund’s and St Clare’s care and are deeply concerned about this issue. I am sure that no-one in this place wants to see a student, or a child, or a parent, or anyone for that matter, hit by a car on this section of the road.

I know that Mr Zavone, the Principal of St Edmunds, has raised this issue with this Labor-Greens government a number of times over a number of months—as well as raising it with me so we would get this petition underway. I thank him for his hard work and the care that he puts into his role as guardian for his students, and I know that this is also of great concern to the school communities at St Clare’s.

I note that it has gained more than 500 signatures, so it will go to a committee, but I do implore the minister to listen to the concerns that have been raised by the school communities and rethink his approach. The 40 kilometre zones that we see are a common place outside every school, and this should be no exception.

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