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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2620 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Hargreaves spoke about engineering. I think that it would be fair to say that we have the best road system in Australia. It is a splendid road system and it is being maintained at that rate. As to evaluation, we have already said that we will have an independent evaluation of the speed camera program. That is why Mr Osborne's amendment is acceptable to us. We will put in a sunset clause because we believe that all of that will be met. In terms of encouragement, we have a road safety strategy and we have in place lots of encouragement to ensure that drivers understand their responsibilities.

When it comes to enforcement, we have it here, Mr Speaker. The sting in the speed cameras is that you cop a fine. It is not that you get a letter saying, "We caught you". Mr Hargreaves' ill-conceived idea of a two-month moratorium simply indicates that the Labor Party believes that you can actually have safe speeding. Mr Speaker, it is really interesting that he refuses to acknowledge any of the facts. When we did our survey - I released the facts, so they are public knowledge - we caught a person doing 107 kilometres an hour in a 60-zone in Antill Street. Under Mr Hargreaves' concept, that would be okay for a first offence; you could do 107 kilometres an hour in a 60-zone. Where is the logic in that?

Mr Speaker, we caught somebody doing 107 kilometres an hour in a 60-zone on Belconnen Way. Under Mr Hargreaves' amendment, such a driver would get a letter saying, "We caught you, but we are letting you off this time as we are using new technology". Where is the logic in that? How do you explain to a mother who gets a knock on the door from a police officer to say, "Your son was in a motor vehicle accident, but we are not going to do anything" - if you look at the amendment, we would not be doing anything - "because it was the first time he got caught by the camera."?

Mr Speaker, among the others were 107 and 106 kilometres an hour on Kingsford Smith Drive, which has an 80-zone. The corker, of course, was the young P-plater who was doing 145 kilometres an hour in a 100-zone on the Monaro Highway. Under Mr Hargreaves' amendment, which has the Labor Party's endorsement, that person would get a slap on the wrist. That is appalling. The people opposite talk about being in touch with the community. The community have left them way behind on this issue.

Members opposite talk about processing mistakes. Mr Speaker, if a 10 per cent tolerance had been applied to the trial it would have left something like a potential 1,182 offences being detected in the trial.

Mr Hargreaves: You money-grubbing little person.

MR SMYTH If the trial had been the real thing, only 827 of those would have been considered suitable for prosecution because we could not see the numberplate or something obscured the numberplate or for other factors. Mr Hargreaves continues. He has been caught out. You can tell that he has been caught out because the tone goes up in his voice and he calls us a money-grubbing government.

Looking at the facts, Mr Speaker, the cost of motor vehicle accidents to the ACT is $180m a year. That is the money cost. Who knows what was the cost to the families of the 22 deaths and 700 severe injuries last year. Who knows what that cost. How do you quantify the cost of personal loss and grief? The Labor Party speaks about a two-month

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