Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 295 ..
stakeholders and the public opportunity to comment and provide input on the pilot project and before developing any other specific proposals for implementation. I table the following paper:
Reducing speed zones around shopping and community facilities—Statement to the Assembly.
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (11.30): On behalf of the Greens, I would like to thank and congratulate the Chief Minister for his statement today and the work that has been done on this issue of reducing speed limits around shopping centres and community facilities. While the Chief Minister acknowledged the Greens’ interest, I would just like to point out that this has been done by the government in fulfilment of an item from the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement. We are very pleased that work is happening on this issue. I note, as the Chief Minister noted, our first death on the roads in Canberra—of a motorcyclist, one of our vulnerable road users. That is one of the issues we have to continue working on. I believe there was also an incident on Northbourne Avenue last night with bus and a cyclist—fortunately not me.
I am very pleased that the Chief Minister himself is passionate about road safety. He talked a lot about road safety last year; he hosted road safety seminars and talked a lot about “vision zero”, the Swedish road safety concept focused on achieving zero road deaths. It is a concept which we support, and we would like to see it happen in the ACT, but clearly it will not be achieved this year.
The Greens, of course, are concerned about road safety and the many needless motor vehicle accidents that occur. We added this 40 kph item to the parliamentary agreement to particularly prioritise work with respect to vulnerable road users. Our most vulnerable road users are pedestrians, cyclists, disabled pedestrians—the people in motorised or pushed wheelchairs, people on scooters—and women pushing prams. Those are even more vulnerable road users than the able-bodied pedestrians. They are pedestrians and road users who are particularly around community facilities. And aged people, whether or not they are using scooters or whether they are frail aged, are very vulnerable road users.
This is the reason why the Greens, in their proposal, included community facilities, not just shopping centres. I am disappointed that the government is not going to be including those areas—the areas around childcare, aged care and other community facilities—as part of the pilots, but I am hopeful that the proposal will soon be extended further. The concept of vulnerability is a crucial concept to include in our planning and policy making. It recognises that some road users need special consideration and protection and it is a concept that we need to start entrenching into our laws.
As I have said before, the Greens are strongly in favour of prioritising vulnerable road users, including by measures which slow down or reduce car use. It increases safety,