TRANSCRIPT: ADELAIDE DOORSTOP, 2 AUGUST 2019
Subjects: Road safety
We’ve just had a really good meeting at the Transport and Infrastructure Council. A regular catch up with all the ministers working in bipartisanship, such things as road safety, such things as making sure we have harmonisation as much as we can across the states; talking about offensive advertising on vehicles, of course that has been a big topic of discussion lately, and certainly Queensland have led from the front in that regard in making sure those vehicles don’t show the sort of offensive and misogynistic slogans that they have on them, some of those vehicles. You know, as Minister Mark Bailey said, if it was a slogan on a billboard, it would be down within a matter of hours, and yet sometimes these vehicles are allowed to roam from state to state with really offensive slogans on them. So, we’re working hard to making sure we have – across the jurisdictions – legislation to stop those vehicles.
Of course, when it comes to road safety, we’re all as one. The road safety is so important. The road toll is so high, and we want to make sure that through better infrastructure, better roads, better driver behaviour – it’s up to everybody to make sure that they don’t have driving distractions. And I commend those jurisdictions putting in place heavy fines. I know in New South Wales it’s five points if you’re using your mobile phone, and indeed on a double demerit weekend, that’s almost your whole licence; 10 of your 12 points that you have on your licence will be stripped from you, as they should. And Queensland are looking at putting in $1000 fines in the first instance, loss of licence for the second instance of using your mobile phone.
Way too many people are getting distracted when they drive. And when you are travelling at 100 kilometres an hour, two seconds, momentary looking away from the wheel, from what you should be doing, from looking out the windscreen, is 66 metres you travel. Those 66 metres, you might as well be blindfolded. And that of course is a worry, is a concern, certainly for the transport ministers across the country, and something we spoke on today.
The road toll is shockingly high at the moment in some states.
Well, it is. And the fact is, roads are getting better. It’s driver behaviour that is a concern, and that was certainly expressed today. And we want to – as road transport ministers, infrastructure ministers across the country – do even more things in that regard to- the road toll should be zero. The fact is, one death on the road, one injury on the road, is one too many.
The Automobile Association says it’s perhaps a way that cars are made, maybe cars aren’t being produced in a way that is conducive to drivers in the 21st century. Did the ministers talk about that today?
94 per cent of cars being sold into Australia – new vehicles – have that very, very high five star ANCAP rating. And we want to make sure that all the vehicles are being used the way they should be. I mean, roads are better; vehicles are better these days. But unfortunately, the road toll compared to last year, which was 1100 – it was still too high, but it was down from the previous year of 2017.
We want to make sure that leading up to Christmas we don’t have any more deaths on the road because we want people to share that time with their loved ones. And I know it’s only the start of August, but Christmas is not too far away. There’s already going to be far too many families mourning a loved one who’s not going to be sharing that time with them this year.
Can I just ask you about the sexual assault and harassment allegations within the Liberal Party; how worrying is that for you, and are you reconsidering the coalition?
Well, I’m a member of the National Party, and I know the Liberal Party have measures in place to make sure that certainly women feel comfortable working. With any political party, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the Liberal Party, the National Party, Labor Party, Greens, whoever it is – if people feel as though something has been done to them, which should not have been done, they should report it to the authorities. They should report it to the police in the cases of a serious nature. But if they’re being harassed or being bullied, I know that political parties across the spectrum have measures in place to have reporting of that.
The reporting took place, and it wasn’t taken anywhere.
Well as I say, I’m a member of the National Party; I’m not a member of the Liberal Party. And I’m sure those allegations will be treated in a very serious way, but if people have been treated in a matter that should be a crime, they need to report it to the police.
Thank you very much.