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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3443 ..


I think we can all agree that we should focus on increasing the training provided to young people when they are first learning to drive. If safety is the main concern then surely more training is the answer.

Many young people are shiftworkers whose shifts finish after midnight, especially if they work in hospitality. Young people who are enrolled in the trades may have to start work earlier than 5 am. Young people who play sport often start training early in the morning. When young people go out to parties or to clubs in the city it is very common practice for one person to be the designated driver and to drive their friends home. This is, after all, a practice we encourage. In all these circumstances alternatives to driving are impractical and often expensive.

I do not think exemptions are the solution either. Applying for exemptions is an unfair burden. Why are we placing the burden on young Canberrans? No-one plans to get sick and make a midnight dash to the hospital. No-one knows when a relative will ask for a lift to the airport. And what if your shifts change at work? I want to reiterate that I am not fundamentally opposed to changes in our licensing regime, but I want our changes to be sensible and I want our community to support them.

I think placing an overly large requirement on supervised driving hours is unfair and unwise. We have seen in other jurisdictions what happens when these supervised hours are implemented: families simply forge logbooks. And often those families that are most likely to forge them are the individuals that most need help with driving. Really, what is the point? That is not to say that more hours with supervision are not beneficial. That is beneficial, but the logbooks are not without their problems.

I think it is also worth pointing out that these systems are often designed with a conventional family unit in mind. How would 100 hours of supervision affect a single parent? How would it affect a family on a tight budget that struggles to put petrol in the tank? How would it affect a family with twins? That 100 hours is now 200 hours for the parents.

I want our roads to be safe. I want young people to learn to drive in a safe and supportive environment. I want young people to be valued and respected parts of this community. There are still many questions that are yet to be answered about what a final mix of changes would look like, and I hope we get the balance right.

MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (3.37): Safety on our roads is a key priority, and I thank all members for their contributions today on this important issue. As I think we have all said, one death on our roads is too many. However, I would like to reiterate Mrs Dunne’s comments that the focus needs to be on equipping young drivers with the skills and knowledge that they need to be safe on our roads while they are learning to drive, before they are unsupervised on our roads, rather than unfairly punishing them and restricting their freedoms once they already have their licence.

Mr Rattenbury spoke about the fact that there is still ongoing consultation around these proposals. I would like to acknowledge that, unlike much of this government’s so-called consultation, consultation on this particular issue has seemed somewhat genuine, at least until now. Mr Rattenbury reiterated that young people are


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