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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 634 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

I support the trial and this government supports the trial. I did indicate to one community group that I would consider whether we should trash the trial and go immediately to a 50-kilometre per hour standard throughout suburbia in the ACT. I did give consideration to that but I rejected that approach. So I will not abandon that trial.

I think there is a good deal of information yet to be gained. In particular, we have to make some assessment of whether there are fewer crashes now, and I suppose that may ring some bells too. But we have to assess the whole situation. We did report as an interim measure that the average speeds have dropped just a little-by under 2 per cent, which I said was modest but encouraging. I might say that I wish it was more encouraging. I still think "modest" is the word that is most applicable.

There is an on-going process by which people may seek to have the 60 zone reduced to 50 in specific areas. That has probably been the case at any time. But certainly there is a review going on at the moment in respect of a number of streets, and that will continue. But I think it is proper to allow that trial to see out its time, make a sound evaluation of it and then make a decision on which way to go.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. In your transport policy you said:

Reducing speed in suburban non-arterial roads in high population areas where danger spots are evident.

You said:

The process will be undertaken in consultation with residents.

How do you propose to undertake these consultations?

MR WOOD: The prime thing we have hooked on to is the trial that is under way at the moment. I am also grateful for another body out there, Pedal Power, who are seeing that I get quite a few emails on this issue. I will maintain that close connection to see just what that community view is. A deal of mail on specific areas is always directed to the minister and we always attend to that.

Public service

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister, as the minister responsible for the public service. According to Gazette No 7 of 21 February this year, a Mr Vic Rebikoff has been appointed to the multicultural unit as a full-time public servant. Is this the same Mr Rebikoff who was a candidate for the Labor Party at the ACT election?

MR STANHOPE: It took three questions to get to the point, Mr Speaker. I wondered where we were heading, down this long, meandering road.

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