Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2204 ..
certain drugs, may feel they are unfairly apprehended. I am aware that there is a long half life in relation to cannabis. But the fact of the matter is that I share the view that the thought of innocent people being killed because of a drug-affected motorist provides a compelling case for action to be taken.
I do believe in civil liberties, despite what Mr Pratt said about his thoughts on civil liberties. That is a philosophy I am committed to, but you can have your civil liberties, if you subscribe to the Mill’s interpretation of liberalism, and, provided you are not injuring the position of others, then your rights can be assured. If you are driving a vehicle when you are affected by drugs, you are potentially seriously adversely affecting the rights of other people.
Lastly, as to cycle paths, I think they are a great thing for Canberra. I am glad there was clarification, because I often hear Mr Pratt and wonder whether he is just against cycle paths and cyclists. There are anomalies with the green areas on roadways. I am not sure what the solution is to that, frankly, but I do not see them elsewhere in Australia. Even though I am told it is a national standard, I do not see the green areas in other states that we have here.
I have twice been in situations where I have come off Commonwealth Avenue and there has been a cyclist travelling at fairly low speed through that area. I have had vehicles travelling behind me at least at the speed limit and sometimes approaching at higher speeds. You are put into a situation of having to work out what kind of evasive action you can take to avoid hitting the cyclist or having a rear-end collision. How you solve that, I do not know. It is an issue, but I would hate to see any kind of policies that erode the importance of cycle lanes. Many young people I know, including members of my own family, do use the cycle paths. They are great for fitness. They are good for health; they help keep people out of hospitals, if they do not get hit by somebody. Therefore, I think, the overall investment in cycle paths is something that we ought to be supporting.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (11.09): I want to take this opportunity to speak to this budget line but also to the two reports—the appropriation report from the committee and the dissenting report as well. I should say that I stand here today with an immense amount of pride in the budget that this government is handing down. It is a budget that will ensure a continued benefit to the ACT community. Of course, in that community are working families, the aged, students, young people, business and the environment, all of who have never been better off than under this Stanhope Labor government, the government that continues to deliver outstanding service to the people of this nation’s capital.
It is an important part of our democracy that dissenting opinions are recognised, especially when those opinions are over matters affecting all Canberrans. It is for this reason that I am a little disheartened. The opposition, I think, have been misguided in their approach to the issues affecting this region, and they have spent valuable time compiling a report barely relative to the budget that it tries to discuss. Those opposite had a chance to actively participate in constructive debate for the progression of the ACT. Instead, they chose to use the estimates committee as a launching pad for a poorly executed political stunt.