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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3954 ..


MR RUGENDYKE (10.48): I present the Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

These amendments to the road transport legislation which was passed yesterday are designed to insert provisions that outlaw burnouts and motor vehicle racing on public streets. As members are aware, I introduced the Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No. 4) 1998 as a private members Bill in November last year. It was agreed to in principle by the Assembly and then referred to a committee almost 12 months ago to the day. The Bill proposes that the driver of a motor vehicle should not engage in the specified actions unless he or she holds a permit.

The Planning and Urban Services Committee has completed a thorough consultation process, including a visit to Newcastle to observe how similar laws operate in New South Wales. I am pleased that the committee saw fit to recommend that burnout and street racing laws should proceed. The committee's view is that burnouts or motor racing in public places constitute a potentially serious risk of injury to the public and of damage to the surface of the road. The committee's report also says that penalties for burnouts should be severe but graduated, with repeat offenders being liable to forfeiture of their vehicle to the Territory. I trust that the Assembly will adhere to the committee's recommendations and pass the Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill (No. 4) 1998 when it returns to the chamber for debate this afternoon.

The Bill that I have presented to the Assembly today reflects my original Bill and the suggested minor amendments put forward by the committee. I do thank members for noting and cooperating with the extra layer of detail that has been created by the timing of the Government's new road transport package. For the record, the Government's package will come into force some time next year, probably in March. I am seeking to finalise debate on the original Bill today so that the burnout provisions will be in place between now and the introduction of the new national road laws. The main purpose of that is to enable police to act on this dangerous and reckless type of behaviour over the upcoming holiday period. The annual Summernats events usually coincide with extra problems for the community in this area. It is important that the Assembly provide police with the measures that will assist to preserve community safety on our roads and in our public places.

The amendments to my original Bill will be debated this afternoon, so I will not cover the same ground by entering into a detailed explanation now; but I will say that this Bill does mirror the burnouts Bill and amendments that will be debated today. I would like to flag now that I will be seeking to have the new Bill returned for debate in the first

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