Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1429 ..
MR STANHOPE: These proposals are being actively developed. This is a significant program within the department of health. We are working on it actively. Of course, as with everything else, it requires a budget decision, and it is being considered in the budget context. It is a significant issue. It is something we have committed to. We accept absolutely the need for a post-hospitalisation care facility.
MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Minister, you will be aware of my reputation for providing advocacy on behalf of concerned sections of the community, such as Pedal Power, on road safety issues such as the 50-kilometre per hour trial and the bullbar debate, currently in the media. Minister, you will also be aware of the lack of advocacy from those opposite. Are you aware of the debate taking place in the community in relation to bullbars? What is the government's response to the call from some sections of the community to ban bullbars?
MR WOOD: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. There are effective advocates in the community, like Pedal Power, and there are effective advocates in the Assembly, like the questioner, and I value that advocacy. It has been quite a debate-Ms Tucker was also interested in this subject. I have to say that I need that advocacy because over the years I have driven around and noticed various protuberances on bullbars without paying much attention to them. I had not particularly thought about them, so it is important that this be brought to the attention of a minister who is in a situation that is changing.
With all jurisdictions, which includes the Commonwealth, we are in consultation with the National Road Transport Commission and the industry to look at vehicle standards, including issues related to bullbars. That is basically for new vehicles-and the standards do change-and also for vehicles already on the road. It is an ongoing process, and we expect improved design standards in the future.
Following up the issues you raised with me, Mr Hargreaves, we looked at what we might do locally. The inspectors in DUS have been a little more active and are looking out for problem fittings. I have had advice that there have been 23 circumstances in the last three or four months where people have been told to take protuberances off their bullbars. We have asked parking inspectors to keep their eyes out for these, since they travel around and see very many vehicles.
I have not had any reports of outcomes from that, but parking inspectors are able to advise DUS inspectors of problems upon which action could be taken. So, at a local level, we are taking some steps and will certainly lock into any federal steps.
Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on notice.
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following papers: