Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 August 2015) . . Page.. 2922 ..
There are matters that need to be addressed. There are matters that can be improved. In any human service that is so. But I will not stand by and let the Canberra Liberals and Mr Smyth continually and absolutely show complete contempt and disrespect for the commissioner, the chief officers and the men and women of the emergency services.
This is a service that provides complete support to our community. On the strategic reform agenda, Mr Smyth says, “We need an independent statutory agency.” Yesterday, even though the commissioner was in the room, and he paid some level of regard to his capabilities, he said, “How can a commissioner, as skilled as you may be in one discipline, have the skills and expertise across the services?” His response, when I challenged him about it, was, “We should have an administrator.” It makes me think that Mr Smyth wants fire, rescue, ambulance, SES and Rural Fire Service to be managed by an administrator. We have somebody with emergency management experience in the commissioner. We have chief officers that will be maintained and strengthened in the strategic reform agenda. And all Mr Smyth can say, on behalf of the Canberra Liberals—so I am assuming it is your view, Madam Speaker, Mr Hanson’s view, Ms Lawder’s view and Mr Wall’s view—is that the ESA is riddled with problems. That is not the case.
This is a service that provides the best first responders that this country has seen. We have had significant investment under the leadership of Minister Corbell. I will continue that investment. We have seen service responses improve for our community. If all that those opposite can do is disrespect that service, laugh and snigger over there and take a cheap political shot at me, it is telling of them; it is not telling of the men and women in uniform. I support the ESA and I will stand by them every day of the week.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (7.47): I rise tonight to speak about the road safety part of the Justice and Community Safety portfolio. One of the important items in the budget is an increase in the funding available for the deployment of mobile speed cameras. This funding increase complements the newly released road safety camera strategy which I made available earlier this year.
On this topic I was disappointed to hear Mr Coe’s comments about speed cameras on Tuesday. He misrepresented the government’s approach to road safety cameras and to road safety and deliberately fanned the attitude in the community that cameras are used for revenue raising instead of safety. Revenue raising is not the rationale or a guiding principle in the government’s approach to road safety cameras. Achieving the best safety outcomes is the key guiding principle.
I believe MLAs in particular have a responsibility to the community on issues like this and should be particularly careful how they talk about them. Undermining the purpose or efficacy of road safety cameras, which are clearly shown to have a positive road safety outcome, helps to erode compliance. Evidence shows that when road users do not support a law they are less likely to comply with it. Undermining road safety cameras and spreading rumours about revenue raising is likely to result in worse road safety outcomes.