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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3901 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

I think the legislation is good legislation, because it imposes standards that are required on people who use our roads, people who at the moment put other people's lives at risk. The problem has always been very largely a question of the attitude of people on our roads. It had to be brought home to these people forcefully that attitude is important and that they are not free to do as they wish on our roads. They are not free to put other people's lives at risk. There has been very little curb until now, although this process did start some years ago.

Mr Stanhope says there are people who will lose their jobs. Not if they obey the law, not if they accept the standards, the norms, that we are setting as the community norms of behaviour on our roads. They are at no risk. All they have to do is comply with the rules. If they comply with the rules, they are at no risk whatsoever. But at the same time the rules remove a very serious risk from a lot of other people who share the roads with them.

I do not agree with Mr Stanhope. I believe this is good law. I believe that over time we will see a significant reduction in road trauma, road deaths, road injuries, road accidents and damage to property as our police take their responsibilities seriously and implement this law. I do not see that as a bad thing at all. The majority of Canberrans will benefit materially from it. If the majority of Canberrans benefit materially, how can you say that it is bad law? I do not believe it is.

As I say, this process started a long time ago. We see today the culmination of some years of work in bringing together a package of law that deals with these matters. I was part of that process at one stage. I endorse it. People who think that this legislation is a bit harsh because it places some constraints on them have a duty and a responsibility to look to their attitude when they are in control of a vehicle in a public place. If they do not do that, then perhaps the results that Mr Stanhope has predicted will happen. Maybe the axe will fall. If it does, it is because people refuse to accept their responsibilities to the broader community.

I support this law. I would have thought that everybody in this place would have had the good sense to do so.

MS TUCKER (7.56): I would like to make some closing comments. I particularly want to comment on the debate that has occurred here tonight. I have listened intently to most of the speakers who have supported this piece of legislation of Mr Osborne, now the Liberals. I have not yet heard anyone address concerns about the separation of powers and what we are doing to the system of governance in the ACT. The Labor Party, Michael Moore and I have raised concerns about that issue. No-one has responded. We have responded to the concerns that the members speaking for this proposal have raised. I have made a suggestion that if the criteria are a concern and they need to be tightened then you can look at that. I also raised in my speech statistics and research showing the core group of offenders and the reasons we need to look at other measures to address the issues. The fundamental objection from Michael Moore, the Labor Party and me is about what we are doing to our system of government.

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