Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Darwin to Alice Springs at 100 km/h when his vehicle is designed to travel safely at speeds well in excess of that? It is an absolute mockery of the system. More accidents probably are caused by the inattentiveness of people who are inhibiting their speed because they believe they may be under surveillance than are caused by allowing people to travel on the open roads at speeds with which the vehicles and the roads can cope. It is interesting to note that, at the meeting of the transport ministers in early December at which this offer was made, there was no consultation at all. It was purely a matter of take it or leave it. They were told to put the blackmail package into place or they would not receive the money. The package was not based on any scientific research. There was no investigation of any kind. As my colleagues indicated earlier, it was an election ploy. However, the big twist in this election ploy is how the offer is to be funded.' When announci ng hi s $100m offer to the states thi s morni ng, the Prime Minister wanted to ensure that he would not be making an unfunded promise. He decided to announce how it would be funded. It is interesting to note what owners of vehicles capable of travelling at high speed will contribute to this $lOOm. The luxury tax will be increased on imported vehicles over a certain value. This relates to the Mercedes and BMWs that are imported. The $lOOm will be funded by that means, not from sales of the ordinary motor vehicles that are being used on the roads at the moment. Some of the other proposals are anomalous too. As the minister indicated, some of the proposals certainly should be supported. There are other matters in relation to which I have been interested 'in watching developments over the years. I do not believe that a national uniform speed limit would be a rational move. I believe that there should be a meeting of transport ministers to set speed limits based on the conditions applying in respect of a particular road. If it is a dual carriageway or a wide, open road with a certain shoulder and a certain amount of traffic on it per year, the speed can be unlimited. In some cases, speed limits which exist on certain roads could be increased. The setting of the maximum blood alcohol level at 0.05% or 0.08% was debated hotly in the early stages of the introduction of the RBT system. As a result, 4 states adopted a 0.05% level and 3 states and 2 territories adopted 0.08%. The ACT and the Northern Territory, together with South Australia and Western Australia, adopted the 0.08% system. At the time, there was a very good reason for that. The Victorian view, that 0.05% was a reasonable 1 imit, was based on the fact that the majority of the state IS population lived in a suburban environment. Mr Manzie interjecting. Mr FIRMIN: That is right. They were trying to avoid the RBT. In the more open spaces of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the problem of policing the system is much more difficult. Apart from that, I believe it is rational to have the 0.08% level rather rather than the more difficult 0.05%. I do not think that any evidence has been provided today to suggest that that view is irrational. No new evidence has been produced. 1 beg your pardon, new evidence has been produced - not to support a reduction but to retain the 0.08% level on the basis of the economics of maintaining surveillance at that level and the cost benefit analysis of a reductiori. 8801
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