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





Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 27 February 1990 of Transport Economics, that represents a $20m return or a 4:1 cost benefit ratio. On that basis alone, the Prime Minister should release the funds. The member for Nhulunbuy asked whether some parts of the package save 1 i ves, and I answered across the floor that some will and some wi 11 not. That is logical. Some of them are in place here already. There are some that we will adopt. There are some that we are prepared 'to investigate and accept further argument on. We will consider constructively whether we will apply them. However, in this deal, we do not have the comfort of saying that we will accept 6 or 9 out of the 10. Minister Brown and Prime Minister Hawke said that it is all or none, not even 99%. We asked the minister what the reaction would be if we implemented all 10 proposals with the exception of a small detail such as the logbook requirement applying to trucks. The emphatic answer was that we would get nothing. The deal is all or nothing. In re 1 at i on to whether any of the proposa 1 sin the package wi 11 reduce the i nci dence of death s on the roads, of course some wi 11 ! We have to consider seriously which measures would work to our benefit and which ones would not. The third question that the honourable member asked was whether un iformi ty woul d be of benefi t? Of course, it woul d not be the excl us i ve answer. Uniformity for uniformity's sake is a nonsense. It is more of this centralist, socialist government attitude that seems to be the only thing the ALP can hand on. There are vast differences between Vi ctori a and the Northern Terri tory. The Mi ni ster for Transport from Vi ctori a, who became a little excited from time to time, pleaded with us about the number of car loads of young people wrapped around light poles in suburban Melbourne. It is a real problem for him, and I have great sympathy for him in relation to it. However, when I said that the Territory has the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in Australia, that indicated some of the differences, particularly when I mentioned that, of the 20% of road fatalities involving pedestri ans, a totally unacceptable number were Abori gi na 1 people. Those fatal ities related to people who were asleep on a road or highway and that is not a circumstance which occurs in Melbourne. An extraordinary number - I bel ieve that 90% was the figure - of our pedestrian victims had blood alcohol levels that would have been way above the legal limit had they been dri v i ng. When I say way above', they had 1 eve 1 s of 0.30%, 0.34% or even 0.35%. Mr Tuxworth: They should be dead. Mr FINCH: Mr Speaker, the member for Barkly says that they should be dead. In the end, they were. When we examined the 30-odd serious accidents and fatal ities that occurred in front of the Nightcl iff Hotel the other year, not a single one of the injured or deceased persons who was tested had a blood alcohol level below 0.08%. I believe that the lowest reading was about 0.15% and others were up to 0.35%. That is not a situation that is found in downtown Melbourne. For goodness sake, we do not have the same problem. We do not have the same conditions. If you drive for 2 hours in Victoria, you are in the water or out of the state. The Victorian minister took offence when I said that the Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne was an extension of suburbia which, of course, it is. It cannot be related to the Northern Territory. Whilst very high alcohol levels are one of our principal concerns, single vehicle roll-overs come close behind them. Some 78% of our fatal ities result from people not wearing seat belts that are fitted in vehicles. That is not counting people thrown from the tray of a vehicle, be 8807