Page 617 - Week 02 - Thursday, 18 February 2016

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MR RATTENBURY: I might flippantly say the assessment is still to come. That is what we have identified; that we are actually going to do the assessment. In terms of where I think Mr Coe is trying to go, which is to some insinuation that daring to have a policy discussion is irresponsible, I reject the premise of his question.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, has this week’s discussion on cycling helmets damaged the education campaign that has taken place over decades encouraging kids especially to wear helmets?

MR RATTENBURY: Far from it, Mr Coe. What in fact this week’s announcement has done is to highlight a policy issue. It has engaged the community in a discussion. It has drawn out a range of views. It is quite clear that there are contested views on this. We just had a Senate inquiry which canvassed exactly that issue. Does Mr Coe think the Senate inquiry damaged the public debate? Does Mr Coe think that somebody being allowed to publish an article online damages public debate? I do not think so. I think it is fair enough to have these discussions. Where we land remains absolutely an open question. That is why we have identified doing a piece of work to look at this policy in a thorough way. The fact that the Canberra Liberals cannot even cope with having an expert look at—

Opposition members interjecting

Dr Bourke: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order. Stop the clock.

Dr Bourke: Madam Speaker, the minister is being interrupted in his answer by interjections from the opposition, which is disorderly.

MADAM SPEAKER: The level of interjection is moderate, but I will ask members to be mindful of the level of interjection.

Mr Barr: Against what benchmark?

Mr Hanson: That was disorderly, Mr Barr.

MADAM SPEAKER: It is bordering on disorderly. As I have said a multitude of times, I do not expect question time or other debates to be conducted in silence, but I do expect that members are respectful and do not interject to the point that it disrupts members speaking, and I will pay attention to that. The minister has the call.

MR RATTENBURY: One of the interjections across the chamber was, “Do I wear a helmet?” Yes, I do, because it is the law in Australia and I do wear a helmet. I also ride bikes at high speed at times. I have lived in countries where you are not required to wear a helmet, but I have still worn a helmet when riding high-end performance bikes because of the speed and the level of risk involved. There are entire countries

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