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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1820..


MR MOORE (continuing):

This sort of cooperation is an important part of what these ministerial councils are about. When people talk about our being a local council and having local council responsibilities, I often wonder how they feel that we would deal with such issues as this. Our Ministers go and represent us at ministerial councils on issues such as transport, education and policing matters. We have those responsibilities and it is appropriate that they are represented in these ways. I think it is naive to suggest, other than for some political gain, that we can be, in any way, a local council. I think the Liberals worked on that very well at the last election. Fortunately, it was not taken particularly seriously. From that point of view, Mr Speaker, I have always said that it does not really worry me whether I am an MLA or an MLC - a member of the Legislative Assembly or a member of the Legislative Council. If we do turn out to be members of the Legislative Council, no doubt members will move to have the word "honourable" put in front of their names as well. Perhaps that council option might then bring some criticism from the community.

In the third last paragraph of Mr De Domenico's speech he points out that Ministers at their next meeting will discuss the notion of a 50 kilometres an hour speed restriction in residential areas. When we know that things like that are coming up I think it is very important for our Minister to understand what it is that the rest of the Assembly believes. I have real doubts as to whether that would be particularly useful in Canberra. On the emotive side, everybody can say, "Yes, if we have 50 kilometres an hour we will have fewer road deaths or fewer road accidents". I am not convinced that that is necessarily the case in Canberra.

I have seen some work done on the 50 kilometres an hour issue and I believe that the research that was done was completely inadequate and a lot of the extrapolation from the research was questionable. Politically, in some ways it can be seen to be very good. In cities like Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, where there are a series of cross streets, there are entirely different reasons why you would establish a 50 kilometres an hour system. It may well be that a majority of members of the Assembly do feel that it is appropriate for us to go that way. As you are a minority government representing in this case an Assembly that would seek to change legislation like that, when you know that it is coming up you should check with the Assembly first to determine whether you would have general support for such legislation. Mr Speaker, I am delighted that Ministers share with members of the Assembly what happens in ministerial councils. I think it is very important. It is also important for them to understand that when making such agreements other members ought to be involved where possible.

MR SPEAKER: Members, I would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of a former member, Mr Lou Westende. Welcome.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (3.54), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Moore for his contribution. This was the first ministerial council that I have attended. It was in April this year, and I attended because it was a commitment given by the former Minister for transport, Mr Lamont. I was delighted to do so. What I was doing, literally, was agreeing to the decisions made by Mr Lamont when he was the Minister for transport. This is one of those areas where I think you will find that there will be very little difference between political parties, and even the Independents, on the things that are discussed at these sorts of conferences.


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