Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 3396 ..
MR HIRD (continuing):
Mr Deputy Speaker, before I close I should commend the Government for bringing forward the management plans for public land. Tidbinbilla is the third major management plan considered this year by my committee. The others involved Canberra Nature Park and urban parks in various areas of the city. The preparation and finalisation of these management plans has been long overdue. It is good to see them coming to the committee and then to the Assembly. Mr Deputy Speaker, I commend the report to the parliament.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Debate resumed from 18 November 1998, on motion by Mr Rugendyke:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (5.04): Mr Deputy Speaker, the Government will be supporting this Bill in principle because there is some merit in Mr Rugendyke's approach. I understand that the current practice in relation to offences such as burnouts is for the police to attempt prosecutions under the dangerous driving or negligent driving provisions of the Motor Traffic Act. This has highlighted some problems in the enforcement of these provisions, which does suggest that the current law is inadequate.
If the act of deliberately spinning the tyres of a car on a public road was only publicly undesirable, then perhaps I would doubt the value of this Bill. However, the practice of the burning out of a motor vehicle is unsafe as it depends, almost by definition, on a temporary and deliberate loss of control and traction. In particular, the Government strongly supports the offence outlined in proposed new section 119AA that we might refer to as an aggravated burnout. If it was not bad enough that people conducting these sorts of activities on public streets create a danger when they actually occur, pouring oil or diesel fuel onto the road surface actually means that we have a residual safety problem as well. Oil spills from vehicles are bad enough, but the deliberate application of lubricants onto the road surface is simply an act of stupidity of an extreme order.
Mr Deputy Speaker, the Government does have a number of concerns about the Bill and I will be moving some amendments later in the debate. In addition to the amendments, I will be moving a motion to refer the Bill, together with Mr Hargreaves' amendments and my own, to the Standing Committee on Urban Services.
My amendments to Mr Rugendyke's amendment Bill support the broad intent of Mr Rugendyke's amendments in that burnouts and street racing are prohibited unless that person has a permit to engage in those activities. The enforcement provisions for these offences, including the cancellation of licences, are not altered by the Government's amendments. Further, the provisions covering the seizing and impounding of vehicles are