Page 3856 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
would like us to be treading. A bit of clarification might be appreciated there. But if the minister is asking for practical solutions, I think members of the Canberra Liberals would be more than happy to be forthcoming in offering those to him to make his jobs perhaps a little easier.
I would like to say that, in some respects, yes, the solution to the problem is not always forthcoming and does often require a bit of creative thinking and thinking outside the square. But at the end of the day, I think that is why we are elected to this place—to sometimes be creative in our thinking, think outside the square and come up with solutions that meet the needs and the expectations of the communities that we represent.
In conclusion, road safety affects all of us. It requires a holistic and innovative approach. This approach has not been adopted under the reign of this government. After almost 12 years in office, most of the problems that are in existence are of their own creation, after all.
I would like to highlight that again and thank Mr Coe for bringing this MPI to the Assembly and giving us all an opportunity to raise the issues that are important in our electorates.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.25): I too agree that improving road safety is a matter of public importance for the ACT, and I support the statements made earlier by the Chief Minister. Just before I go on to the road safety strategy, I would like to make a comment on Mr Wall’s comment on Chifley—Eggleston and, of course, Melrose. There was a program to do a black spot repair in that area. The residents of Chifley did not want it to occur because it was going to impede their traffic flow, so there is a different program in place there.
The ACT road safety strategy provides a whole-of-government approach to addressing road safety and has goals to contribute to a national reduction in the annual number of fatalities and serious injuries of at least 30 per cent by 2020, to develop an ACT community that shares the responsibility for road safety and to develop an approach to road safety that involves all stakeholders working together to improve road safety.
In addition to these goals, the ACT road safety strategy has an aspirational goal of “towards vision zero”. This is influenced by the Swedish government’s vision zero policy, which aims to have no-one killed or seriously injured in the road transport system. Vision zero is not a target to be achieved by a certain date but helps broaden the focus from fixing current problems to achieving the optimum state of the road transport system. I would like to think that in Australia we will at least achieve zero deaths in the lifetime of the current generation. This is becoming closer to reality with rapid improvements in vehicle technology and road infrastructure and innovative approaches to enforcement and education programs.
Between 1980 and 2010 Australia’s deaths per 100,000 population declined from 22.3 to 6.1. This remarkable reduction has been linked to a range of initiatives, including improved enforcement of drink-driving laws with random breath testing and near 100 per cent compliance in the wearing of seat belts. Many of you might think that