Page 1827 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013

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initiatives which could support the territory’s growing number of cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

That is why I have already asked the Justice and Community Safety Directorate to consider additional measures for protecting vulnerable road users, in developing the next action plan under the road safety strategy to cover the period 2014 to 2017. Work on this action plan commenced this month, with a series of stakeholder workshops. Workshops looking at “safe vehicles”, “safe speeds” and “safe people”, including vulnerable road users, have already been held. The purpose of the workshops is to identify a list of possible actions which could contribute to achieving the road safety strategy’s goals of reducing road trauma and developing more collaborative, community-based approaches to keeping our roads safe.

We have seen groups such as ACT Policing, the NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust, Pedal Power, NRMA Motoring and Services, the Motorcycle Riders Association, Kidsafe ACT and other key community, road safety and road user interest groups engaged in these workshops. Work on drafting the action plan will commence immediately after the completion of these workshops at the end of May, and public submissions on the draft document will be invited in late 2013.

Given that this work is underway as planned and will address the issues highlighted in Mr Rattenbury’s motion in a way that allows for stakeholder and broader community input, I am concerned that there may be some potential for duplication on this referral, but overall the referral is appropriate. I understand and share Mr Rattenbury’s interest and concern to ensure these issues are considered and inform future road safety initiatives, and anticipate that any committee recommendations could be considered in finalising the next road safety action plan.

On that basis, the government is supportive of this motion today. The issue of better protection and reduction in death and injury of vulnerable road users, whether they be pedestrians, cyclists or even motorcyclists, should be a concern for all members of the Assembly. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (11.35): We all know walking and cycling reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression and obesity. As travel by motor vehicles is reduced, there are also reductions in carbon emissions and traffic congestion, and this can only lead to a more sustainable future for all Canberrans. For most people, the easiest and most acceptable forms of physical activity are those that can be incorporated into everyday life. Selecting active transport options will make our city healthier, and the government is continuing to improve convenience and safety for people who choose cycling and walking as their preferred mode of transport.

The ACT has significantly higher cycling participation rates than the national average, with around 22 per cent of the population riding a bike in a typical week. Some 46 per cent of children under 10 and 43 per cent of one to 17-year-olds also ride each week. Forty per cent of Canberrans work less than 10 kilometres from home, a distance easily cycled, meaning there is a potential for these cycling trips to become more common. Canberra has an extensive network of off-road shared paths and on-road cycle lanes, where people can cycle in comfort and safety.

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