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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 February 2010) . . Page.. 605 ..


MR SPEAKER: Thanks for the offer but it is fine; just have your seat. Ms Le Couteur’s original question was about the incidence of injuries to cyclists. I think Mr Hargreaves has picked up on a particular measure that was designed to improve safety for cyclists, so I will allow the question to remain. Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will not labour the point. In any discussion in a political context in relation to cyclist safety and cyclepaths, it does need to be recorded that this has always been this government’s policy. It was a policy that we pursued before being elected in 2001, a policy that was opposed, root and branch, by the Liberal Party, the then government, and most specifically by the then minister for territory and municipal services, Mr Brendan Smyth—an ardent, vocal, virulent opponent of onroad cycleways, an opponent then and probably secretly still an opponent now. And never forget it: with respect to the then government, the network that we inherited was a network that did not support onroad cyclepaths in any shape or form, and we introduced the first onroad cyclepaths, particularly from that very important Dickson to Woden tranche, with the support of the Greens, and in the face of virulent opposition from the Liberal Party.

Mr Hargreaves: Virulent.

MR STANHOPE: Virulent opposition from the Liberal Party, and never forget it.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: The AAMI report showed that, compared to the national average, ACT drivers were more critical and less supportive of bike riders than drivers in other states. What action are you taking to reduce this tension between cyclists and motorists?

MR STANHOPE: I note and acknowledge the level of antipathy. Interestingly, Ms Hunter, and I am sure you are aware of this in relation to the consultation that the government has recently undertaken in relation to the introduction of the 40 kilometre per hour speed limit in a number of places around Canberra, one of the unsettling aspects of the community consultation was the real level of antipathy between motor vehicle drivers and other road users—not just cyclists, but pedestrians.

The issue you raise is an issue that has been identified, as you say, Ms Hunter, through AAMI but also identified more recently, just in this last month or two, in relation to associated or similar consultation in relation to road issues. It is quite clearly an issue which, as a community, we need to address. There is an us-and-them mentality between some car users and other road users.

Through the work that we are doing, most particularly in relation to the adoption of a new philosophy or approach to road safety through vision zero, we are seeking to address—as we develop a new five-year road safety campaign and strategy to deal with the need for each of us as members of this community to accept our personal and individual responsibility for making our roads safe, adopting individually and as members of this community a commitment that we will seek to achieve a sense of


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