Page 3955 - Week 09 - Thursday, 25 August 2011

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passes the first camera in a point-to-point system, the number plate is read and stored in a database. When that same car passes the second camera, the number plate is read again and the timestamps of the two database entries are used to calculate the time and average speed travelled. This is called automatic number plate recognition technology, or ANPR. I have concerns about this technology, for several reasons.

However, it must be said that this Bill before us today from the government should not be debated at this time. It should not be debated until all the facts and figures are on the table and until all the information that is available to this government is made available to other members of this place. It is not for want of trying that we do not have all the information available to us, because it is this government that once again put on displays of inconsistencies that exist between their agencies when it comes to requests made through FOI.

Very shortly after the bill was tabled on 30 June, I sought and received a briefing on the bill. The briefing, while reasonably extensive, did not cover a number of issues that I had sought to query. I then put in a request under freedom of information for further information on the point-to-point camera system. In what can only be perceived as an obstructionist move by this government, I was informed that I would have to pay $1,470 to gain access to the information—almost $1,500. To obtain information for $1,500, in this new era of information and transparency in what the Chief Minister herself calls “open and accountable government” is quite outrageous.

This is the real measure of this government. This is their true definition of open and accountable government—obstruction and obfuscation at every turn. However, despite requesting that the bill be debated at a later time to accommodate the time frame needed to appeal the decision to charge me for information under FOI, Mr Corbell has insisted on steamrolling this through today.

Like all strategies designed to reduce accidents and fatalities, the government must show evidence to support the introduction of point-to-point speed cameras, including the justification of the cost, the rationale behind the locations that have been chosen, and they must address the concerns which relate to the use of the data captured. This is all vital information which has been withheld.

The opposition remain unconvinced that the safety benefits of this legislation outweigh the possible negatives. There are a number of concerns we have with regard to the introduction of point-to-point cameras in the ACT. While the media today have highlighted some of my concerns relating to privacy, this is not my sole concern.

Many questions have been raised about the effectiveness of fixed speed cameras. These questions have been raised by respected motoring bodies across the nation, including the NRMA, the RACV, the RACQ and the National Motorists Association of Australia, who have all publicly denounced the efficacy of speed cameras. The NRMA is on the record as saying that more speed cameras alone are not the answer to reducing the road toll.

After a New South Wales Auditor-General report found that some fixed speed cameras had no significant safety benefits, 38 of 141 cameras were removed. The president of the NRMA, Wendy Machin, said in response:

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