Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 March 2009) . . Page.. 1173 ..
That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Stanhope from moving a motion in relation to reducing speed zones around shopping and community facilities.
This is a very important motion. It is a motion that responds to discussions that the Labor Party has had, most particularly with the Greens, in relation to the importance of giving due consideration to issues around a proposed enhancement to road safety within the ACT. It is particularly important and it is appropriate that the motion be moved and debated today. The motion is simply to establish terms of reference for a reference to a committee to inquire into a matter of particular significance to this community, indeed to all communities around Australia.
I think the bottom line in asserting the importance of any motion that deals with road safety and the capacity that we have to enhance road safety in the ACT is simply to understand that each year, on average, 14 Canberrans die on our roads and that up to 500 Canberrans are injured on our roads. Indeed, in the five years from 2004 to 2008, indeed in the last term of this Assembly, 78 Canberrans died on our roads. I do not believe there to be a more important issue facing the community. I find it stunning whenever I reflect on it that during the term of the last Assembly 76 Canberrans died on our roads. I find it shocking whenever I consider it or contemplate it.
I believe it is vitally important that we take the issue of road safety as seriously as any other issue. This is a very simply proposal, that terms of reference be agreed for reference to an Assembly committee to enquire into one of the most significant issues which we face. It is a simple matter, a simple motion. It will not take considerably long to determine one way or the other and it is important that it proceed. I think the issue is simply too important to be playing politics.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.19): The Liberal opposition will not be supporting the motion to suspend standing orders. As the Chief Minister says, road safety is an important matter and one that we should be dealing with in this place, but this is a cobbled together motion which clearly falls within the purview of Assembly business. This is a reference to a committee, and reference to a committee is clearly, under the standing orders, Assembly business. There is time allocated on Thursday morning for Assembly business. The Chief Minister could just as easily have tabled this motion this morning. It would have been listed by admin and procedures at lunch time today and could have been dealt with on Thursday.
Again, we are doing this because this is a government with no agenda. If this is such an important issue, the minister could have put it on the notice paper at any time to deal with it, but it was cobbled together yesterday and circulated yesterday because they have to be seen to be doing something.
The government have no agenda. They are distracted by something—internal wrangling or the fact that they cannot get their budget together; I do not know—and they cannot get their act together in relation to their legislative program, which is thin, to say the least, and they cannot get their act together in the way they manage the business of the house.