Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2629 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
This amendment is silly; it is just silly. People are aware that speed cameras are around and that they work. We have made it quite clear that we will place signs near where the speed cameras are going, that we will put permanent signs on approaches to speed camera locations, and that we will have an education program where we will outline exactly where the speed cameras will be, because we do not want to collect the revenue. The trade-off for us is the happiness and physical wellbeing of all Canberrans and the reduction in expenditure on things like the trauma ward of the hospital and the disability unit of the hospital. Mr Speaker, this amendment is a silly amendment from a silly party which has no understanding of road safety.
Mr Hargreaves wants an all-up strategy. There was a meeting earlier this year at which some 50 representatives of groups as diverse as the insurance companies, unions, road engineers, the police, government officials and the victims of trauma got together to discuss the furtherance and the revision of the ACT's road safety strategy. We are working on that. These cameras will become a very important part of that and be a very effective tool. They can save lives, they can reduce speeding and they can reduce trauma. This amendment is silly and should be rejected.
MR KAINE (4.05): Mr Speaker, I will not be supporting Mr Hargreaves' amendment because I believe that the purpose of this legislation ought to be to discourage unhealthy behaviour on the roads by imposing the law, not by collecting revenue as a result of people disobeying the law and the law not being properly enforced. I must note that the Minister accuses Mr Hargreaves of placing great emphasis on the revenue aspect and says that he is the only person doing so. The Minister's explanatory memorandum says that the Government expects an increase in revenue of $2.5m in the current financial year, decreasing to $2m a year in future years, and goes on to talk about the Government's operating result. His own explanatory memorandum begs the question whether this is about revenue rather than enforcing the law. I assume that the purpose of this legislation is to control traffic movements on the roads and that its primary purpose is not to collect revenue. I am sure that the Minister will confirm that. I would rather see people convinced by whatever means available to the Government under the law that antisocial behaviour on the roads is not a worthwhile activity and I would hope that the Government is not relying on increasing its revenue by $2.5m this year as a result of this legislation.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.07): I would like to speak briefly to a couple of issues, Mr Speaker. As my colleague Mr Hargreaves has said, the Labor Party is supporting the legislation. We are also happy to support Mr Osborne's amendment. We think it reasonable that an initiative such as this be tested and checked at some time in the near future. Mr Hargreaves has indicated that another amendment would be appropriate in the context of road safety programs and road safety generally, that is, that as part of the educative process in relation to the introduction of a new speed detection regime first-time offenders in the short period of only two months be given a warning that their behaviour on the road did attract the attention of a speed camera - a once only, one-off warning that there is now in place in the ACT a new regime for detecting speeding.