Page 3851 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
approach. But in the last parliament there were motions around specific streets and areas in local neighbourhoods which sought to give those the political push forward over and above what the engineers and some of the other advisers were saying.
I would certainly agree with Mr Rattenbury that, whilst we are not trying to not encourage people to raise concerns around safety, there does need to be an acknowledgement that engineers, particularly traffic engineers and safety advisers, do advise government on the priority areas for upgrades. At the same time one of the best things we can do to encourage road safety is to look at our own behaviour as drivers, and slow down and drive to the 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) (4.09): I will add a few brief remarks, both as the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services with responsibility for Roads ACT, and in my capacity as a Greens member, as I have a few thoughts on this issue.
The point that the Chief Minister finished on is perhaps one that is particularly on my mind, in light of the discussions we had yesterday regarding the motions brought forward by Mrs Jones and Ms Lawder. As I explained yesterday, TAMS runs a traffic warrant system, which is a database that records all of the crashes in the ACT. It basically starts to build a profile of various blackspots and intersections across the territory. There is a range of data that goes into that. It is not just crash data; various other factors are taken into account. As I said yesterday, TAMS applies essentially a human judgement or common-sense filter over that to try and keep an eye on things.
So I am quite mindful of that, both in the context of those motions and in terms of the many letters that I receive about road safety concerns. Members of the public often write to me raising concerns. I think that is really valuable, because that human input of perceived risk is an important part of TAMS looking at things. When those requests come in, TAMS does send somebody out from Roads ACT to look at circumstances. There is one in Belconnen—I cannot think where it is—where somebody is concerned that the surface of the road is excessively slippery. We have written back to them saying that the machine that can assess that comes to town at a particular time of year, and we will assess that then. So sometimes it takes a little while.
This work is going on constantly. Whilst that feedback is very important, if we then write back to somebody and say, “Actually, it’s been assessed, and whilst there is an element of risk, it ranks at No 400 on the list; we’re not going to do anything about it now,” I realise that, at times, can be disappointing for the individual who perceives the risk and perhaps uses that intersection every day. But it does not mean that we can suddenly move that up the list. There does need to be some sort of evidence base for trying to allocate the resources that are available to government.
I spoke about that at some length yesterday. Certainly, the approach that I will continue to take is to look at that evidence base that Roads ACT has. With the human filter that is applied across the top of the hard data, it is a pretty powerful way of trying to assess what are actually the highest priorities for government to tackle in the territory.