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 of drivers has to playa big part and it needs to be attended to from a very early age. Occasionally, I need to look at the way I drive and the risks that I sometimes take. I say to myself: 'Just cool it. An accident is not worth it. It is not only your life you are risking but someone else's as well'. When you get behind the wheel, you need to keep your wits about you and think of the other fellow. If we can communicate that attitude to young dri vers, there is some hope that we mi ght stop the carnage on our roads which not only directly affects the 3000 people who are killed and the 30 000 who are maimed every year, but indirectly affects the families of those people. It seems a pity that the situation on our roads is in many ways used as a political football. The people of our country deserve much more than that. One gains a fairly strong feeling that the federal government's proposals are politically motivated and that, when the election is over, they mi ght a 11 be she 1 ved and shoved aW,ay ina cupboard. Mr FINCH (Transport and Works): Mr Speaker, I thank those honourable members who contributed constructively to debate on this very important matter. I must indicate at the start that this government will accept any measure which, in any predictable way, will save a single life on our roads. As long as any such measure can be demonstrated, on a technical, scientific or any other reasonable basis, to be practical and enforceable, thi s government will accept it. I shoul d a 1 so add the provi so that it should be cost effective, although that would be a lesser consideration. I should also make it clear that I am not alone in rejecting outright this abhorrent blackmail by the Prime Minister and the federal Labor government. With a Single exception, all other state and territory ministers have rejected it. If the member for Nhu1unbuy thinks that I have given the Prime Mini ster and hi s Labor colleagues in Canberra a hard time, he should have heard the contribution of Frank Blevins, the South Australian Labor minister who, like the Western Australian, Queensland and Tasmanian Labor ministers refused to have the role of the Australian Transport Advisory Council, the rightful place for these decisions to be made, usurped by the Prime Minister in a rather misguided attempt to win a few votes on the eve of an election. They even said: 'We thought we were on your side, but you are trying to shove this nonsense down our throats'. The member for Nhu1unbuy made a very noisy contribution. I note that he always becomes noisy and then leaves the Chamber. He becomes noisy when he is in a corner and has nothing to offer. I will, however, address myself to each of his contributions because not a single one of them was correct. First, he asked whether I would accept the approximate amount of $5m over 3 years as a Territory share. I indicated to him across the floor that, like other ministers from around the country, I would not. I am not being pig-headed. As I mentioned, we would have to contribute not only $1.5m in cash. We would have to contribute $2.5m per annum, not only for the 3-year period but forever and a day. In the 3-year period alone, that would be $8.75m out of the 1 imited funds of Territory taxpayers in order to get $5m back. It just does not stand up. We would be almost $4m down the drain and that is $4m which we would not be able to put into road programs ourselves. In the Prime Mi ni ster' swords, that is 8 1 i ves or 80 serious injuries. As the member for Sadadeen pointed out, the trauma and economic loss extends to the families of those people. At the same time, the $5m which the Prime Minister will not release to us represents 10 lives or 100 serious injuries. That)s a considerable amount of hurt and pain for many people. In the hard-hearted terms of the federa 1 government's Bureau 8806

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