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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 704 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

I thank members for their interest in this subject. One of the things that are heartening about this debate is that all here are concerned for road safety. Road safety affects us all as citizens of the ACT. I thank members for the contributions that they have made to this debate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail Stage

Clauses 1 to 4, by leave, taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 5

MR HARGREAVES (4.18): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No. 1 circulated in my name:

Page 3, line 1, omit the clause, substitute the following clause:

"5. Learner licences and learner licence receipts

Section 7A of the Principal Act is amended by omitting paragraph (9)(c) and substituting the following paragraph:

'(c) if it is towing any other vehicle or a trailer.'.".

Mr Speaker, amendments Nos 1 and 2 say roughly the same thing. I am suggesting to the Assembly that we can dispense with the need to have a 250-cc limit or a 260-millilitre limit. I would like to signal that the Labor Party will be happy to support Mr Rugendyke's amendment, because it is the lesser of the two evils as far as we are concerned.

I was surprised by some of the statements that I heard today - the emotive claptrap about people dying on operating tables and things like that. It is really not quite that way. Mr Speaker, I have had some experience in this area as well, as a former director of rehabilitation and aged care. I have seen what has actually happened to people, so I have no illusions about what happens there. That sort of argument is not going to work with me, I am afraid.

The real issue is that we need, as the Minister has quite rightly said, and I support it very sincerely, to chuck our energies into education and we need to chuck energies into making sure that the people who are flogging the bikes are actually the people who know what on earth they are selling. If some young kid turns up at a bike shop and wants to buy a bike the guy there, if he is responsible, should not sell him something on which he is going to kill himself, because he wants the repeat business, if nothing else.

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