Page 4299 - Week 11 - Thursday, 25 October 2018

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Support of both the minimum passing distance and pedestrian crossing allowance components of the safer cycling reforms increased during the trial. By the end of the trial, 91 per cent of residents were at least somewhat supportive of a minimum overtaking distance for motorists passing cyclists, 47 per cent of which were very supportive. These support levels have significantly increased since 2015. Sixty-seven per cent of residents were at least somewhat supportive of cyclists being allowed to slowly ride across pedestrian crossings, rather than having to stop and dismount to cross. This is also a significant increase in support compared to 2015.

In terms of community attitudes, I also note that there were no reports of any increase in harassment or road rage against cyclists in any of the ACT community correspondence received. Additionally, feedback on the trial was obtained from Pedal Power, the largest membership-based cycling organisation in the territory. Pedal Power represents the interests of people who ride bicycles in the ACT as well as people who would like to start riding. Pedal Power are supportive of the changes but believe there are three main areas in which the ACT government could assist to improve compliance with minimum passing distance rules: education, signage and enforcement.

To conclude, I reiterate our decision that these changes are now permanent in the territory. I intend to continue to monitor the crash data to determine the extent of the benefits resulting from the safer cycling reforms and to continue to target awareness campaigns. It is important that we recognise that the safer cycling reforms are just a start and that we continue to make it easier, safer and more convenient for people to choose cycling as their preferred method of transport.

Increasing participation in cycling, particularly among underrepresented groups, will help achieve objectives in the areas of public health, sustainable transport and the environment.

Children’s rights

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM SPEAKER: I have received letters from Miss C Burch, Ms Cody, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Mrs Kikkert, Ms Lawder, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Lee, Ms Orr and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms Cody be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of upholding the rights of ACT children.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (3.33): I rise to speak about the importance of upholding the rights of ACT children. Children and young people are the experts in their own lives. They can and do make an important contribution to our community. This week is Children’s Week. It is an opportune time for us to reflect on how we uphold the rights of the ACT’s children and young people.

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