Page 1826 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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I am pleased to present to the Assembly the government’s response to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts report 8 Review of Auditor-General’s report No 1 of 2014 and the various other documents I have presented today. The Auditor-General’s report Speed cameras in the ACT, which was tabled in March 2014, identified a range of shortcomings and brought into question the strategic basis for the ACT road safety camera program. It also identified the need for the program to be evaluated.

Clearly there were issues with the strategic and operational management of the cameras, which the government has readily acknowledged and which I am determined to address. I want to emphasise that the clear goal of the ACT’s road safety camera program will be to make the strongest possible road safety contribution. The new strategy that I am releasing today is designed around this principle. An ACT government position on the Auditor-General’s report was provided to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in November 2014. In March this year Mr Smyth presented the standing committee’s report Review of Auditor-General’s report No 1 of 2014: Speed cameras in the ACT.

The government position, as provided to the standing committee, agreed to all recommendations made in the audit report with the exception of recommendation 5, which was noted. This recommendation was about developing and implementing a relatively large, network representative, speed monitoring system in order to determine changes in the extent of speeding.

A speed monitoring system to this scale is not presently resourced. However, existing speed surveys undertaken by the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate can assist with identifying the extent of speeding at specific locations. Some information about self-reported patterns of speeding is also obtained through regular national policing surveys. The standing committee report includes eight recommendations in relation to the audit report and on the implementation of the audit recommendations. Today I am tabling the ACT government response to the standing committee report.

The government agrees to all recommendations except recommendation 5, which is noted. Recommendation 5 of the standing committee report is for me to make a statement to the Assembly if the report on the University of New South Wales evaluation is not tabled by the last sitting day in May 2015. I am tabling that report now and will speak about its findings shortly. The government’s response noted that all recommendations made by the standing committee are consistent with the action the government was already taking in response to the Auditor-General’s audit and the recommendations arising from that audit.

Recommendation 8 of the standing committee report called on the ACT government to inform the Assembly of its position on the matter of hypothecation of revenue from speed enforcement activities directly back to road safety initiatives. Hypothecation of road safety camera revenue is a practice which has been adopted in some jurisdictions, including New South Wales, as a means of addressing concerns about cameras being used for raising revenue.

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