Page 2680 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 26 September 2007

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about visibility. Of course, there is also the issue of safety and people’s security and protection from attack.

While ordinary and P-plate drivers may be improving their driving, there are still worrying instances of dangerous driving resulting in accidents. I need to refer here to police chases. People will remember an article by Jack Waterford this year in which he noted that an accident will occur in one in 10 police pursuits and that a casualty will occur in one in 25. So we cannot leave issues like this out of a discussion on road safety, either.

In March this year, I supported the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Amendment Bill 2006 (No 2), which increased the maximum penalty from six months to two years for offences where the driver had not stopped to help in accidents occasioning injury or death. I thought this was a positive bill because intervention after an accident may save somebody’s life, and that is really important. It is really important that we have a system where people are prepared to take responsibility if they are involved in or witness an accident.

The government’s report and 10-year master plan regarding cycle and pedestrian infrastructure encourage walking and cycling as preferred means of transport. I am advised that improvements to infrastructure will commence in this financial year. That is admirable, and it was good to see community consultation in the preparation of that plan. I know that Pedal Power is quite happy about it. But have the proposed improvements commenced yet? Will there be studies into how much improvement is made to safety once these changes are complete? We need to monitor whether the changes we are making have the impact that we desire.

I support Mr Gentleman’s motion but I think the first thing we need to do to prevent accidents is to provide alternatives to young people using their cars.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.24 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Civic library

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Mr Hargreaves. Minister, in late February 2007, the Civic library was closed as a consequence of a severe hailstorm that swept through the north of the ACT. It took an extraordinary period of five months before the library was reopened in mid-July 2007. Minister, why was the main entrance to the Civic library closed from Monday, 17 September 2007?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Mrs Burke for the question. With respect to the former closure, Mrs Burke is quite right. It was caused by storm damage. However, I have said in this place before—so I am just going to have to reiterate it, I suppose—that the library is a tenant in that building of the Cultural Facilities Corporation. They are the building managers, if you want. They were the

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