Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2458 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
But they also take the view that too much of that thing is good for revenue but is not actually good for establishing a high presence on the streets of Canberra. They have, therefore, focused on relatively high profile exercises in, for example, random breath testing, to try to discourage the ordinary citizen of Canberra who would rarely be in this position from considering lapsing into careless behaviour because they see police cars at the side of the road. Police are conducting, on average, several hundred random breath tests in the ACT each week and, on some days, they conduct several hundred by themselves. So we are getting a good coverage of those things. They are very often taking place in locations where the police actually expect to get not many hits but to be seen by a large number of people. I support that strategy.
I will discuss with the police the question of whether there should not be more presence in peak-hour traffic, Mr Speaker. I have seen lots of bad behaviour in peak hour as well. Obviously bad behaviour or bad driving during that period can lead to quite serious consequences. If there is a crash and a pile-up occurs, obviously the potential for damage is quite high. I am told that sometimes traffic patrolling in those circumstances is not as effective as it might seem because, for example, having a squad car in the middle of a long stream of traffic does not necessarily have a large impact on all of that traffic. Those within sight of the squad car could certainly change their behaviour but those that are out of sight will not. I will raise that issue with traffic police, Mr Speaker, to see whether a higher profile can be taken during peak hours.
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the Acting Chief Minister. Further to my yet unanswered question of yesterday, in relation to contracts for ACTEW executives, can the Assembly be informed, in a general sense, so as not to risk the Acting Chief Minister scuttling behind the old commercial-in-confidence defence, of the approximate salary increases received by ACTEW executives as part of the renewal of contracts, despite the quite well-developed existence of a scoping study with a view to selling ACTEW?
MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Quinlan for that question. I can go through it and provide more information about the matter. Mr Speaker, I table a letter from the chief executive officer of ACTEW to me, which I received today. In that letter he explained that there were some recent renewals of executive contracts within ACTEW, making those contracts operative for a period of five years. I will not read the whole letter, but he pointed out that the contracts were effective from 1 July this year. They resulted from a survey undertaken by Cullen Egan Dell, a job sizing survey, in which new contracts were signed. These were not five-year contracts from nothing. They were five-year contracts which replaced existing four-year contracts. So they amount to a one-year extension of existing contracts for, I understand, eight executives in the ACTEW executive. They resulted in salary increases for at least some of those officers, and they have been adjusted, according to this letter, to a point where general managers in ACTEW are now paid some 15 per cent below the industry average for comparable positions - according to Mr Mackay.