Page 2269 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 4 August 2015

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need to be distributed in light of the trust’s principal objective—to enhance road safety for the benefit of the ACT road-using community. I understand that the trust is currently considering options for distribution of the residual funds.

As a result of a clause in the trust deed, no residual trust funds can be paid to either NRMA Insurance or the ACT government. The trust is running a 2015-16 grant program for short-term projects, which will utilise some of its existing funds. The outcome of this grants round was announced last month, with just under $700,000 being allocated to 13 road safety projects. The ACT road safety fund commenced on 1 July this year and will build on the good work of the trust, including the provision of an annual grants program. Like the trust, the fund is being funded by a road safety contribution, which is paid when a vehicle is registered in the ACT.

Specific road safety funding arrangements, like the trust and now the ACT road safety fund, help to support the achievement of road safety objectives. As a community, we cannot afford to ignore the need to improve road safety. Each year in the ACT, on average, we lose 11 Canberrans and see over 700 injured on our roads. Nationally the figure sits at around 1,200 deaths and 35,000 injuries, with a cost of approximately $27 billion to the economy.

There are many issues that we are passionate about in this country, but when it comes to road safety we are still too casual. That is not a position which this government is prepared to accept, and I would like to use this opportunity to remind the Assembly of our ultimate aim, vision zero—meaning zero deaths on ACT roads. It is ambitious, but it is not out of the question, especially during the life of the current generation.

It is clear that the trust has made an important contribution to road safety in the ACT. I would like to again acknowledge and thank NRMA Insurance for their valued partnership with the ACT government and their commitment to enhancing road safety for the ACT community over the past 22 years. Once again, I would also like to put on the record my thanks to those who have served as trustees over the life of the trust. In particular, I would like to thank the current trustees for their strong commitment and dedication to improving road safety in the ACT. This includes Professor Don Aitkin, who has served as the chair of the trust for the past 14 years, and the other current trustees, Ms Kerry Fitzgerald, Mr Ian Edgell, Dr Angus McIntosh and Dr Karl Alderson. I would also like to thank Ms Linda Cooke for her continued support of the trust through her role as the secretary and manager.

I am pleased that the legacy of the trust’s work in road safety research and programs will continue through the establishment of an ACT road safety fund, and I look forward to continuing to work with the wider community to convince drivers that one road death in the ACT is one too many. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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