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 every 4 persons to roadside breath testing each year. The Territory meets that requirement already. It is unfortunate that we do not have the resources to spread that right across the Territory, out into the middle of nowhere, but I am sure the pol ice are looking at ways and means of doing just that. We will move to the next point which relates to interstate single licences. Some 18 months ago, we were the first in the Australian Transport Advisory Committee to advocate the policy of 1 person 1 licence. We reciprocate already with participating states, and there are only 2 of them, to ensure that infringements are indicated to other states so that they can mark them up. Even though we do not have a points demerit system ourselves, we are cooperating with states that have such a system in order to ensure that information pertaining to licences is advised, whether it involves infringements or cancellations. That service is reciprocated by participating states. In regard to uniformity for young drivers, I heard the Prime Mini ster though I did not believe him, and Minister Brown refer to young people up to the age of 25 years. I feel sure that most of us can recall that, before we were 25 years old, we had a level of responsibil ity. . In fact, in my time, it was by chance only that I was not in Vietnam when I was 18. I was old enough then to serve in defence of the country. At that time, at the age of 18, I was not old enough to vote. I was old~nough to drink in New South Wales although perhaps not in other states, However, I was old enough to hold a licence. . This Victorian system for young people does not include simply L plates at 18. There is an argument that says that it is probable that young people develop better driving skill s than do older people. I would rather put my trust in a 16-year-old learning to drive a car than in a 60-year-old learning to drive a car. I am sure honourable members would agree with me in that regard. That 18-year-old has to display a L plate for one whole year, regardless of how good he or she may be. A young person from a farm may have been driving a vehicle since the age of 10, but that does not make any difference. There is a ridiculous, empirical I-year requirement. Not only do they have to display a P plate for 3 years and maintain a zero blood-alcohol level when driving, but young drivers in Victoria have curfews placed on them. I do not know if honourable members are aware of the Vi ctori an system, but people dri ve on the roads between certa in hours during their first years of driving. The number of passengers is limited, as is the capacity of the engine. It does not matter if the old 1960 V8 is the only vehicle the family has. It does not matter if it can attain only half the speed that a new 6-cylinder can achieve. It is an empirical requirement that some bureaucrat has dreamed up in Canberra. Let me move to the $6000m per annum that is ripped out of motor vehicle users' pockets as against a reduction of approximately $2000m in real terms since 1984. Since 1984, the federal government has collected approximately $35 OOOm in real terms. That money could have gone a long way towards improving the nation's roads. We would not be talking about the Pacific Highway. For the benefit of the member for Arafura, we would not be talking about the Kakadu Highway for which we cannot get the ANPWS to contribute a cracker. For the benefit of the member for Stuart, we would not be talking about the Tanami Road which we have to fund substantially on our own. For all Aboriginal communities, the Territory has to find every cent of the f4nds needed for roads, airstrips and barge landings. 8809

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