Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2628 ..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
a day and, if we let people off for two months, that translates to $420,000 down the gurgler. That is not the way it is at all. What we are saying here is that it should be linked to the education plan and the driver behaviour change program and if you get one strike you are out.
Mr Speaker, I have taken the opportunity to correct the misinformation that has been given about this amendment and to reinforce that it is part of the change process. It is not meant to be a way of slowing down the revenue stream. If this Government is really serious and honest about it and is committed to wanting to save somebody's life and to stopping these crashes happening, how about putting some oomph into the driver behaviour change process. I am not seeing any of that. All I am seeing is the absolutely vicious approach of saying, "The speed cameras are in. Tough luck if you get caught". If that is so, Mr Smyth should watch his speed like a hawk all the way home. I sincerely hope that he will be one of the first to cop it, because if he were caught under the regime that I have been asking for he would expect to get a caution. With that, I urge the Assembly to pass this amendment. If it does not, it will just confirm in my view that all we have heard so far about concern for people's welfare and changing driver habits is absolute bunkum and the legislation is nothing short of a grab for cash.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (4.02): Mr Speaker, we have had yet again more inappropriate words and a fixation on revenue from Mr Hargreaves. Mr Hargreaves is the only one to continually raise the issue of revenue. If you get caught speeding, you deserve a fine. He said that he hopes that I will be one of the first. If I get caught speeding, I deserve the fine. Mr Speaker, in the first vehicle I had whilst I was an MLA I broke the cruise control. The guy at Ford was quite surprised. He was not aware of anybody ever wearing out the connections of a cruise control. I attempt to use the cruise control everywhere I go. I am very much aware of my responsibility to set a good example and hope that everybody else here is aware of their responsibility.
Mr Hargreaves said that he saw me writing down the five Es. He is surprised that somebody would take notes on anything he said. The reason I wrote down the five Es is that I was not sure what he was going to say. For all the stuff that we hear from Mr Hargreaves, none of it has ever been consistent or had any logical thought behind it. It is pleasing that Mr Hargreaves was able to get something the NRMA had said right for the first time. Surprise, surprise, the NRMA have told my office that they are now satisfied with the awareness levels after the research that they have done. Mr Speaker, they went out and talked to the community. They are not living in splendid isolation, unlike the Labor Party caucus room on the first floor where policy is made without any consultation and without any attempt to get out and find out what people want. Clearly, from what Mr Hargreaves has said, you do not take notice of any of the reports. No matter which State they come from and who does them, whether it be the NRMA, AAMI or any of the State governments, they say that we do not have to pay attention to them. They choose not to believe them. That is the Labor Party's decision-making process on policy, Mr Speaker; they simply choose not to believe them, no matter how much evidence you get. What a wonderful way to make policy! They are where they are because that is how they make policy, Mr Speaker.