Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



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





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 that, when a driver was thrown around inside a racing car, his neck was not broken and hi s jaw was not smashed. What happens when you come off a motorcycle when you are wearing one of those helmets? Effectively, it snaps your neck. It is the same mechanism that the hangman uses when he puts on the noose and pulls the lever. That is exactly what happens as a result of the weight of the helmet. Those helmets will have to be withdrawn from the market. Nevertheless, the proposal is to put helmets on the kids without undertaking any research. There has been no consultation or discussion. However, we are told that we will not get our money unless we do it. It is the same thing with the running lights for motorcycles. How many honourable members have had a problem with motorcycles on Bagot Road? They all have their lights on, which is great, but they have them on high beam. During the day, they do not realise that and the motorists cannot see because the high beam lights are flashing through the windscreen. Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member's time has expired. Mr McCARTHY (Labour, Administrative Services and Local Government): Mr Speaker, as a regular user, not only of Territory highways but of the highways of surrounding states as well, I would like to add a few points to the debate thi s eveni ng. It goes without sayi ng that some of the Northern Territory highways are well above par for quality. Certainly the Stuart Highway and the Barkly Highway are above par when compared with highways in surrounding states. Because I drive interstate when I take my kids on ho 1 i day, I have the opportun i ty to experi ence these other roads in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. I have done that during the last few years and I know that there are serious problems with highways in this country. I frequently travel the Victoria Highway. I was rather dismayed to hear the member for Nhul unbuy crit i ci se the statement made by the Mi n i ster for Transport and Works who has uncovered some of the clearly extortionist tactics that the Commonwealth is attempting to use in order to lessen the road toll in this country. The fact that no state, apart from Victoria, has taken up the Commonwealth offer indicates that the proposals are simply not acceptable, and will not do the job. As was mentioned by the member for Ludmilla, the Commonwealth is already extorting from road users 400% more in excise then it was in 1983. The Northern Territory's funding is reduced by $44m in real terms now. That is a clear indication of the fraud that the Commonwealth has been perpetrating on the Territory and the states over the last few years. An offer of $5m as the Territory's share of this funding to pick up the major 'black spot l in our highways, the Victoria Highway, is simply ludicrous. I travel that highway regularly and I see the road trains and the tour coaches pass i ng on it. Somebody ment i oned that there is 9 inches between them as they pass. I have seen coaches passing at speeds of 120 km/h at the very minimum, both with 1 set of wheels off the bitumen and only inches to spare. It is crazy and it frightens the living daylights out of me. I keep well away. When I see a coach comi ng, I get ri ght off the road. The road trains are far safer on that road than the coaches. I think it is only a matter of time before we face the horrors that New South Wales has faced in respect of bus accidents. It will be shocking when it occurs. As was pOinted out by the minister, the $5m required a compulsory contribution of $1. 5m by the Northern Territory from its own funds, funds which have already been reduced by $44m. We are having enough trouble maintaining existing roads and building new roads. We have so little in 8803