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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2630 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

It seems to me that if you wanted to enhance the eventual impact of this legislation you would seek to ensure that its educative value was as great as possible. That is the advice that was given to me by the NRMA when I had a briefing on this subject from Mr McKenzie and others. The advice that I received from the NRMA - advice that Mr Smyth chooses not to speak about and chooses not to inform the Assembly about - was that this speed cameras initiative, without a proper road safety strategy or without a proper eduction program, is probably worse than useless and can be justifiably and truly described as nothing but an attempt to raise revenue if it is not associated with a proper road safety strategy and if it is not accompanied by measures to truly educate people to stop speeding. That is what Mr McKenzie and the NRMA said to me. I was told in my briefing by the NRMA that if we do not seek through this process to educate the people of the ACT about speeding and the need to change the culture of speeding this move can be truly characterised as nothing but a revenue raiser. Mr Hargreaves' amendment is a sensible short-term attempt at assisting that educative process which the NRMA said was vital.

Mr Smyth makes great store of the NRMA survey - a survey of 60 people. I have not seen the questions. Perhaps the questions that the NRMA asked are available, but I think it would have enhanced Mr Smyth's case if he had actually let us know exactly what it was that the people were surveyed on by the NRMA. Did it have anything to do with insurance premiums and speeding? Was there just a touch of self-interest in this 60-person survey by the NRMA? I think it would have enhanced your case, Mr Smyth, if you had just given us a bit more information about the basis on which it was conducted and whether a sample of 60 people in the ACT in relation to the introduction of speed cameras is statistically sound. Perhaps you will enlighten me on that at some stage.

Mr Hargreaves' amendment is quite reasonable. It is consistent with what the NRMA has asked for. It is consistent with what the NRMA hopes to achieve out of such an initiative. This initiative must be accompanied by a proper road safety strategy - and I look forward to the Minister tabling the current road safety strategy at some time soon. This initiative, without a dedicated, detailed and committed road safety strategy and without any attempt at educating the public about what it is that we are doing through it, could be and will be categorised by a cynical public as nothing but sheer revenue raising.

The Minister has, through this initiative, received the support of the entire Assembly. The Assembly has embraced this initiative, perhaps not willingly. It is accepted by all 17 members of the place. I think this attempt by Mr Hargreaves and the Labor Party to advance one particular issue raised specifically with us by the NRMA might well have been embraced as well.

MR BERRY (4.12): Labor will always support genuine moves to reduce the road trauma resulting from motor vehicle incidents. Reducing speed is one way of doing that. Mr Smyth went to great lengths to read out to us figures from other States in relation to the reduction in road trauma. He gave all of the credit to the introduction of speed cameras. I wonder whether that is in fact the case. I suspect that there are other factors that have come into the equation as well as the introduction of speed cameras.

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