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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 662 ..

MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1998 and the Motor Traffic (Alcohol and Drugs) (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1998? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating order of the day No. 3 they may also address their remarks to orders of the day Nos 4 and 5.

MR HARGREAVES (10.39): Mr Speaker, the Opposition will be supporting the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1998 and the Motor Traffic (Alcohol and Drugs) (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1998. The Traffic (Amendment) Bill is a fairly simple one. If I can do this out of order a little, it really inserts provisions in the Act to allow for marked foot-crossings. Members would know about the pedestrian crossing outside Commonwealth Park at Regatta Point. That is the sort of thing for which we require legislative support. I would like to see more of those around Canberra as I feel that they are a positive move. We could do with one in the Tharwa Drive area in Tuggeranong where we have a significant problem. The shopping centre is on one side of the road and a lot of the people living on the other side cannot get across the road. So, Mr Speaker, we will support this Bill.

The Motor Traffic (Alcohol and Drugs) (Amendment) Bill 1998 is merely a piece of administrative work to bring penalties into line. The last thing in the world our society wants is for people to feel that it is a cheaper option for them to refuse a blood alcohol test, to cop that one, when we really want to do them for drink driving. I applaud the Government for bringing this piece of cleanliness forward.

Mr Speaker, the Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No. 5) has a series of parts to it and the Opposition will be supporting 90 per cent of it. The multibay parking meter is fine. This is really just allowing the Government the legislative framework to allow multibay parking so that we do not have a plethora of parking meters popping up all over town. I support this proposal.

The provision whereby motor vehicle registration can be cancelled because you have paid it with a dud cheque is also fine, Mr Speaker. It makes an awful lot of sense. The allocation of demerit points to unlicensed drivers is an absolute must, and we concur with that. The foot-crossings, I think, are a good initiative on the part of the Government and they need to be applauded for this also. So, Mr Speaker, for the most part we support Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No. 5).

However, we have a difficulty with the provisions for learner licences and provisional licences as they relate to motorcycle licences. Mr Speaker, when this legislation came forward I made contact with the Motorcycle Riders Association which, I would like the record to show, is a very responsible organisation. It has been instrumental in the attitudinal change, a positive one, that we see in motorcycle riders in this town. It has been instrumental in educating its members and can take a lot of the credit for the reduction in motorcycle injuries and deaths in this town. When I spoke to them and said, "What consultation have you had about this provision?", they said, "None". I was a bit concerned about that because I think it behoves us to take that sort of advice.

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