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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 698 ..





Debate resumed.

MR SPEAKER: I remind members that this Bill is being debated concurrently with the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1998 and the Motor Traffic (Alcohol and Drugs) (Amendment) Bill (No. 2) 1998 and that in debating order of the day No. 3 they may also direct their remarks to orders of the day Nos 4 and 5.

MR OSBORNE (3.53): I understand Mr Rugendyke has some amendments to move in conjunction with the Labor Party in relation to 250-cc motorbikes by way of putting in a power-to-weight ratio requirement. I have to say that I was a little concerned this morning that what the Government was proposing would be deleted altogether. That was the reason for the adjournment of the debate, Mr Speaker. There was a breakdown in communication between some members of this place about what was happening. I have listened to the debate on this issue. Initially I was sympathetic to what Mr Rugendyke and the Labor Party are attempting to do. I will support it, given that I think the numbers are there, Mr Speaker. However, I do have some concerns about this whole issue.

I think that anything we can do to make it harder and, hopefully, safer in relation to motorbike riding is something that we should embrace. I know that Mr Hargreaves cited earlier some figures for accidents in the ACT. In relation to these types of things, you need to have a look at what is happening in the whole country, given the low incidence here in the Territory. We often have anomalies where we have only one or two incidences. That certainly puts the figure up one way or the other. Mr Smyth cited some studies from interstate which speak for themselves.

I think what the Government was proposing was worth supporting. I think we need to look at the issue of motorcycle safety. I am nervous about motorbikes from zero-cc right up. They certainly leave the riders open to greater risk. That is why I came to the decision to support the Government. In saying that, Mr Rugendyke and the rest of them here seem to think that they have the solution. I beg to differ, but I think the reality is that the numbers are there, Mr Speaker. As I said earlier, motorcycle safety, especially in relation to learner drivers, is crucial. Once again, I think what the Government was attempting to do certainly had some merit and was worthy of support. I attended far more accidents in my previous life than I wish to recall.

Mr Hargreaves: You were a detective.


: They call their detectives in with purple dye, Mr Hargreaves. Seriously, though, it is a risky exercise riding motorbikes. I would have thought that Mr Rugendyke would have been a bit more sympathetic towards what the Government

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