Page 3744 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013
said, “Definitely needs lights, such a dangerous intersection. I learned the hard way.” Someone else said, “This intersection is a nightmare,” and somebody else said, “Unfortunately, it will take someone to be critically injured, or even worse, die, for the government to take it seriously and make the necessary changes.”
Can I re-emphasise to the minister that the key issue with this intersection is visibility. I am not saying that this is the only traffic issue in greater Gungahlin. There are many traffic issues that the government has not addressed. Let us look at Gundaroo Drive, which is constantly gridlocked. Children going to school at the new Gungahlin College take up to half an hour to cross the road by foot. Wanganeen Avenue in Ngunnawal is used as a chicane by speeding cars, leaving many residents down the street from Ngunnawal Primary School fearing that their homes may be ploughed into by a runaway car.
Katherine Avenue in Amaroo is impossible to exit from at the eastern end onto Horse Park Drive. And while we are on the topic of Horse Park Drive, this would have to be the most heavily used one-lane highway in the ACT—of course, now that the GDE has been duplicated. I am pleased to see that it seems the quite late swimming pool will have more than one lane in each direction. That is a joke we used to have in Gungahlin.
I thank the minister for his detailed letter in response to my question earlier in the year on the matter of the crossing of Hinder and Hibberson Street. I urge the minister to consider the apprehension with which the people of Gungahlin live regarding this crossing. I implore the minister to install traffic lights for the sake of the lives and property of the people of Gungahlin, for whom it is our duty in this place to provide good streets and driving conditions.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (5.03): I thank Mrs Jones for her passionate dissertation on Hibberson and Hinder streets in Gungahlin and the intersection there. I am well aware of that intersection and, as Mrs Jones says, I have spoken to her about it before. I have also had concerns raised with me directly by residents of Gungahlin. And I did see the media release that Mrs Jones put out with the headline “Jones demands peace of mind for Gungahlin drivers”.
With that in mind, I think it is important that we give some perspective to this issue. Mrs Jones is correct when she says that 66 crashes have occurred at that particular intersection in the last seven years. Of course that is not a great statistic. Nobody wants crashes to occur, any property to be damaged and, most of all, no-one wants to see people injured in accidents. I think that is a given. And I appreciate that Mrs Jones is concerned about residents in our electorate and their safety. I do not intend to turn this into some sort of contest on who goes to Gungahlin the most often, but I do know the site as one of my favourite food outlets in Canberra is only metres down the road from that intersection. So I am aware of it.
Anyway, there is an unfortunate reality that crashes happen on our roads. As I noted in the last discussion, there are around 10,000 a year in the ACT. In developing