Page 2868 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 October 2022
approach to improve our road transport framework that we have put in place. Safety is something that all jurisdictions around Australia and around the world are constantly working on to ensure that we have a culture of continuous improvement to drive safe driving behaviours, based on evidence-based approaches, like Vision Zero and the safe systems framework. Our government takes seriously the challenge of ensuring that tragic and preventable deaths on our roads do not continue to happen. We will keep looking at the latest evidence and will work methodically through three streams of work that this amendment also identifies.
We will continue to respond to the recommendations from the coroner’s reports on deaths on our roads. We will work with the law and sentencing advisory council to look at improvements to our sentencing laws. And we will work through the review that has already been planned and is underway into road transport penalties, to make sure that they are proportionate to the risk on our roads and contemporary with best practice, including what is happening in other jurisdictions. These pieces of work are substantial, and the amendment reflects the significant body of work that is already underway to improve safety on our roads. We are supportive of the amendment put forward by the Attorney-General.
DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.56): I thank Mr Hanson for bringing this motion to the Assembly. Road fatality statistics from January to October alone in the ACT show that 14 lives have been lost this year. Any single death on our roads is one too many. The ACT government has an evidence-based approach to community safety, and continues to commit significant funding to prevention measures through community services; drug and alcohol services; mental health services; and, in our criminal justice system, through investment in police and our justice system.
I believe that there is a need for a multifaceted approach to ensure the safety of our community, and that there must be a focus on prevention and rehabilitation, and on trauma-focused intervention. We are coming out of a very challenging couple of years, where the community has been under intense pressure for a range of reasons. Research and history suggest that times of significant stress and change can lead to individuals engaging in increased high risk-taking activities, and that those people who are marginalised in a community can become more marginalised.
ACT Policing announced in August this year the extent of our car theft problem. In the past 12 months, more than 1,700 cars have been stolen in the ACT—more than 60 were connected to house break-ins—and over the same period 29 police vehicles had been deliberately damaged by offenders, often by ramming. ACT Policing has established operation TORIC, for the targeting of recidivists in Canberra, to address what it sees as an epidemic issue of motor vehicle theft and associated dangerous driving and other crimes.
This task force brings together dedicated resources from ACT’s proactive intervention and diversion team, road policing, general duties, and intelligence teams. Since it began operations in August, more than 78 apprehensions have occurred and more than 225 charges have been laid, with a significant number being recidivist offenders—many offenders who were out on bail or on good behaviour orders. Operation TORIC officers undertook a day of action on Monday 3 October. On that day alone 13 alleged