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Economics References Committee
16/11/2015
Personal choice and community impacts

PARKER, Mr Stephen, Lawyer, VicRoads

SEYMOUR, Ms Robyn, Director Vehicle and Road Use Policy, VicRoads

CHAIR: I now welcome Ms Robyn Seymour and Mr Stephen Parker from VicRoads. I remind committee members and officers that the Senate has resolved that an officer of a department of the Commonwealth or of a state shall not be asked to give opinions on matters of policy and shall be given reasonable opportunity to refer questions asked of the officer to superior officers or to a minister. This resolution prohibits questions asking for opinions on matters of policy and does not preclude questions asking for explanations of policy or factual questions about when and how policies were adopted. Thank you for appearing before the committee today. Would you like to make an opening statement?

Ms Seymour : Yes, I would.

CHAIR: Thank you. Go ahead.

Ms Seymour : I am Director Vehicle and Road Use Policy at VicRoads. In this role I am responsible for recommending government policy; developing new initiatives and programs to improve the safety of vehicles and protective equipment through the design standards and guidelines; consumer advocacy and registration policy; preparing road users of all ages to be able to access the road system safely; ensuring that road users do not use the road system until they are capable and motivated to do so safely; managing behaviours that impact the safe performance of the road system; and encouraging the safe use of sustainable transport modes and assisting road users to take responsibility for making safe choices.

VicRoads is the lead road safety agency responsible for ensuring the safety of all road users in Victoria. We work closely with our road safety partners, including the Transport Accident Commission, Victoria Police, the Department of Justice and Regulation and the Department of Health and Human Services, to achieve ongoing reductions in the number and severity of road crashes and the resultant cost of road trauma. VicRoads is a statutory authority established under the Transport Act 1983. VicRoads has responsibility for the following legislation: the Road Safety Management Act 2004, the Road Safety Act 1986, the Road Safety Road Rules 2009 and all associated regulations. VicRoads also has obligations under the Transport Integration Act 2010.

Victoria's approach to road safety is informed by the Safe System philosophy, a system adopted by countries which lead the way in road safety. The Safe System takes into account the interaction between vehicles, roads, speeds and road users. It recognises that humans have a limited tolerance to crash energy levels before being injured or killed. The Safe System makes allowances for people making mistakes on the road and mitigates the consequences of such mistakes through safer roads, safer road sides, safer vehicles, safer speeds and compliant road users. Protective technologies such as seatbelts, vehicle safety systems and bike helmets each form a vital part of the overall Safe System approach.

Cyclists are legitimate road users and are recognised as being more vulnerable to injury or death when compared to a driver of a motor vehicle. Wearing a properly fitted Australian standards approved bike helmet plays an essential part in the promotion of safe road use by cyclists. The introduction of mandatory helmet laws in Victoria followed an almost decade long education and awareness campaign to voluntarily increase helmet wearing rates across the population, particularly among children and adolescents.

In 1990, the average wearing rate was 31 per cent. Concern regarding the proportion of the population using helmets is noted in the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Road Safety report 1978 and again in the inquiry into child pedestrian and bicycle safety in 1986—the latter report recommending that mandatory helmet use by cyclists be introduced as soon as possible. Victoria introduced mandatory helmet laws for cyclists in 1990 and a new regulation—regulation 1305—was inserted into the Road Safety Traffic Regulations 1988. In March 1991, the average wearing rate of bike helmets had increased to 75 per cent. Recent research suggests that the current wearing rate is around 90 per cent.

In all safety related fields, the basic assessment of risk involves weighing the likelihood of an event occurring and the consequences of it occurring. A head injury can have a dire consequence. Access Economics estimates that the lifetime cost of a severe brain injury at $4.5 million. This figure includes treatment and care costs, the cost of adaptive equipment lost productivity. It does not reflect the personal cost to the individual, their family and friends and the community.

A rider wearing a helmet will be protected from the full force of an impact to the head, as the helmet dissipates the transference of kinetic energy. A helmet with meets the Australian standards is one of the few personal protections a cyclist can use. Wearing a properly fitted Australian standards approved bike helmet offers significant protection to a cyclist's brain in the event of a crash. VicRoads acknowledges that, for some people, the requirement to wear a helmet represents a deterrent to cycling. However, VicRoads' own market research and surveys conducted by other agencies have repeatedly identified that concern for safety, including traffic volumes, speed and nonavailability of off-road paths represent a greater deterrent to cycling. Through the Safe System approach, VicRoads is actively working to address these great deterrents to cycling in ways that are consistent with the Safe System approach. An example of the work VicRoads does in this regard is bicycle network planning, which identifies and improves bicycling routes throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Concerns about safety are also frequently raised by parents who are reluctant to allow their children to ride to school. In 1988, before the helmet laws were introduced, the Australian Bureau of Statistics identified over 25 factors that would encourage more cycling in New South Wales. Among the top 10 factors identified were time, the availability of bikes, bike paths, cycle ways and less traffic. These factors are similar to issues identified in more recent times as deterrents to cycling. Safety rather than mandatory helmet laws is the biggest issue to be addressed in lessening identified deterrents to cycling. VicRoads and our road safety partners are committed to the Towards Zero strategy, which operates under the ethical proposition that no-one should be killed or seriously injured on our roads. Keeping cyclists safe on our roads is a key priority for VicRoads, and mandatory helmet laws are a critical component of the VicRoads 'Safe System' approach to road safety.

CHAIR: Do you have anything to add, Mr Parker?

Mr Parker : No.

Senator CANAVAN: I think it would be useful for the committee to get on record what the legal situation is in Victoria. I did ask a previous witness, but you would know better. What are the penalties at the moment for not wearing a helmet?

Mr Parker : It is five penalty units, which equates to $758.35.

Senator CANAVAN: So, if you are not wearing a helmet, you get fined $758?

Mr Parker : Five penalty units.

CHAIR: Seven hundred and fifty-eight dollars for not wearing a helmet?

Senator CANAVAN: That is a lot higher than other witnesses said.

Ms Seymour : That is the maximum penalty.

Senator CANAVAN: So what would a typical—

Mr Parker : No; that is the penalty.

Senator CANAVAN: There is no discretion?

Mr Parker : That is the penalty for not wearing a bike helmet, although the infringement penalty will be less than that, if it is dealt with by infringement. But the penalty in the regulations is five penalty units.

Senator CANAVAN: Sorry, Mr Parker; I am not overly familiar with state laws. What is the difference between the penalty in the regulation and the infringement penalty?

Mr Parker : The infringement penalty is when it is sent out by infringement notice, like an on-the-spot fine, that type of thing. In that instance, if it is dealt with by infringement, then that is the end of the matter.

Senator CANAVAN: And how much is that?

Ms Seymour : One hundred and eighty-five dollars.

Senator CANAVAN: That is about what we heard earlier. If you get caught multiple times, are you more likely to be charged the $758? Is that how it works?

Mr Parker : The $758 is the full penalty. If the matter goes to court, that is the full amount that could be penalised.

Senator CANAVAN: That could potentially be charged. Have they stayed roughly the same over time?

Mr Parker : They have in respect of it being five penalty units, but the penalty unit gets increased each year, just by the CPI.

Senator CANAVAN: By inflation or something. Do you have data on how many people are charged or infringe and pay the fine?

Ms Seymour : I think that would be best responded to by Victoria Police.

CHAIR: I have got a follow-up on that. My information from the VicRoads website is that, in the first year following the introduction of mandatory helmets in Victoria, cycling offences leapt by 900 per cent, from 2,000 per annum to 20,000 per annum in the first year. Even now, failure to wear a helmet accounts for over two-thirds of all infringement notices issued to cyclists. Do you understand that to be correct? Does this suggest a degree of community opposition or lack of acceptance of the law?

Ms Seymour : The introduction of bicycle helmets in Victoria happened progressively over a very long period of time, so in the early 1980s there was a very significant road safety education campaign that was run through schools to encourage children in primary and secondary schools to wear helmets, plus there was a mass media campaign as well as an opportunity to get a rebate if you bought a bike helmet. Over that period of time, the use of helmets moved from about 10 per cent in 1983 to 35 per cent in 1988. There was a decision made that, in order to achieve the full potential and the safety benefit of a helmet, it was necessary to mandate helmet wearing. So that was then implemented in July 1990. Enforcement is an important part of any regulation, so, in order to encourage the uptake and use of a helmet—it then being mandatory—we needed to do good education so there was high public awareness that a helmet was required to be worn and what the benefit of that helmet was. There needs to be the regulation in place and then there needs to be enforcement. That is how you ensure effective implementation of any regulation.

CHAIR: The penalty was increased from one penalty unit to five penalty units in 2009, I understand. Do you know why this was done? Was it before your time?

Ms Seymour : It was before my time.

CHAIR: That is fair enough. I do not expect you to provide information if you are not aware of what is going on. Do you happen to know if any community consultation was undertaken at that time?

Ms Seymour : Given that I was not aware of the change, I am not sure, but we can take that on notice and get back to you.

CHAIR: That would be good, if you could. Would you also inquire whether a regulatory impact statement was prepared at that time? And, finally, could you indicate whether there was any reduction in cyclists' head injury rates as a consequence of, presumably, greater compliance, due to the higher penalty?

Mr Parker : Yes.

Ms Seymour : Yes.

Senator CANAVAN: I was also going to ask whether you know if any regulatory impact statements had been prepared.

Ms Seymour : 2009 was when all of our regulation sunsetted, and all of those had to have—

Senator CANAVAN: These are road rules generally?

Mr Parker : My understanding is that the road rules are exempt from the requirement for a regulatory impact statement.

Senator CANAVAN: So—notwithstanding that particular exemption—no RIS was prepared?

Mr Parker : I do not know, from that time in 2009, but my understanding generally is that the road rules are exempt from it.

CHAIR: At the risk of stretching the friendship, could we just inquire as to the status of the regulatory impact statements relevant to this issue? If you find any, could you let us know.

Mr Parker : Certainly.

CHAIR: Could we have them, please. If you cannot find any, just let us know that there are not any, and that will be fine.

Senator CANAVAN: We have taken a fair amount of evidence today about the impacts of mandatory helmet laws on the choice to ride a bicycle and its consequent impact, potentially, on health outcomes from reduced exercise. Do you consult with colleagues in the department of health or other areas of government in terms of providing advice on these laws?

Ms Seymour : The Victorian Road Safety Partnership, which is made up of VicRoads, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice and Regulation, Victoria Police and the Transport Accident Commission. So, as we develop new initiatives and new policies, we have a very strong communication between our respective agencies in relation to the development of new regulations.

Senator CANAVAN: Have you discussed the mandatory helmet laws with the department of health or other agencies in the Victorian government?

Ms Seymour : Not in my time.

CHAIR: What is your time, Ms Seymour?

Ms Seymour : In this role? Eight weeks.

CHAIR: This is a bit tough, in that case.

Senator CANAVAN: Do you know who is actually responsible for running the bike share program in Melbourne? We have had a lot of evidence about that. Is that a Victorian government program?

Ms Seymour : It is a Victorian government program. It is PTV—Public Transport Victoria—which is responsible for the Melbourne bike share program.

Senator CANAVAN: Are they in your department more generally?

Ms Seymour : They are, in our broader department.

Senator CANAVAN: So it is in your broader portfolio but it is not in your area?

Ms Seymour : No.

Senator CANAVAN: Keeping in mind that we do not ask you for opinions on public policy, have you looked at or been asked to look at any issues around the take-up of that program and provide advice on ways to boost it?

Ms Seymour : No, I have not.

Senator CANAVAN: And you have only been in for eight weeks, as you say.

CHAIR: Have you been in the department for longer than that?

Ms Seymour : Yes, I have, and I have been the manager responsible for cycling behavioural issues for the last 2½ years.

Senator CANAVAN: Do you know of any broader approach, schemes or options being considered to boost participation in the bike share program—which does seem low, relative to the take-up in other countries?

Ms Seymour : I am not aware of any. You would have to ask PTV.

Senator CANAVAN: We had a suggestion earlier today that one option would be to maintain the mandatory or compulsory nature of wearing a bike helmet but to decriminalise not wearing it. I am not expecting you to comment on options, but, to your knowledge, are there any other examples in the road rules where something is illegal but not enforced or penalised?

Mr Parker : I cannot think of an example off the top of my head, but I could check and also check with colleagues and get back to you on that. I cannot think of one.

Senator CANAVAN: I do not want to overly burden you, but yes, if that is possible. We have also taken some evidence on the fact that a cyclist's speed is a particularly strong determinant of injury in the event of an accident. What is the status at the moment in terms of, in Victoria, how fast you can ride on roads or bike paths? Is there any particular restriction? Even if it is just dangerous riding and not necessarily speed itself, is there any particular prohibition on people on a bicycle acting in a dangerous way, apart from not wearing a helmet?

Ms Seymour : The requirements in terms of speed and cycling are that you can ride at the designated speed limit.

Senator CANAVAN: So you cannot ride above the speed limit. That is for a road, obviously.

Ms Seymour : On a road.

CHAIR: What about on a bike track?

Mr Parker : I am not aware of there being a particular speed, but I expect it is about being safe in accordance with the road conditions, but I am not aware of there being any particular speed limit.

Senator CANAVAN: Presumably there could be more general laws on public safety and order, but you are not aware of that being of any relevance or use in this area in recent times?

Mr Parker : Not that I am aware of.

Senator CANAVAN: Given this evidence that has been presented to us about the issue of speed, is that something, Ms Seymour, that you are looking at, at all, or providing advice on about? Have you looked at that evidence yourself? I do not think you were here, but Mr Todd presented a paper to us saying that cyclist speed of above 30 kilometres an hour tends to be associated with more severe injuries. Is that something that you are aware of or considering?

Ms Seymour : That research sounds like it is consistent with the safe system approach, which talks about human tolerance. Without seeing it, that would be my assessment.

CHAIR: That leads to a question that I want to ask you. Are you aware, in Victoria, of any systematic public review of the helmet legislation?

Ms Seymour : No, I am not.

CHAIR: Last year, as I understand, VicRoads called for public comment as part of a proposed review of cycling road rules. Are you aware of that?

Ms Seymour : Yes.

CHAIR: I understand that in that survey there were no questions asked relating to helmets?

Ms Seymour : That is correct.

CHAIR: My information is that helmet legislation is the most heavily policed bicycle road rule, so why were there no questions relating to helmets in the survey?

Ms Seymour : The survey was developed based on three previous components of that research project, which involved looking at the crash data, looking at a literature review and speaking to cycling stakeholders around what they thought were the key issues for cyclists in relation to road rules. Those cycling stakeholders did not raise helmets as being an issue of concern and so, based on that, we did not include it in the survey.

CHAIR: You have not called for public feedback in general on mandatory helmet laws?

Ms Seymour : There was an opportunity in the survey to provide any other matters, but it was only in that context that the issue of mandatory helmet laws could be raised.

CHAIR: Have you ever conducted an internal review of the helmet legislation?

Ms Seymour : VicRoads is very comfortable with the philosophy that the mandatory helmet law is really important in providing the level of protection to cyclists in relation to head injury. Based on that evidence, we are very comfortable that the regulation is justified and sound.

CHAIR: The only thing with that is exactly what you said: it is directed at head injuries. Humans are not just heads. So there are other aspects of their health and their bodies which you could perhaps take into account. We have heard evidence from other witnesses here today that the actual risk to their heads in the absence of a helmet is limited. Although, it is not denying the fact that there is a risk, especially as Senator Canavan said, above a certain speed. There is also evidence that we have heard that discouraging cycling has adverse health consequences in terms of lack of exercise, potential for obesity and those sorts of things, not to mention the environmental aspects—for example, most people who do not ride a bike drive a car. Are those things taken into account in your thinking in this area, or is it all about the brain injury or the head injury?

Ms Seymour : We have asked the community through market research work, 'What are the barriers to the uptake of cycling?' because VicRoads is committed to encouraging and supporting cycling in Victoria. The responses we have got through our market research, plus looking at the other market research available on the topic, does not show helmets as being one of the primary deterrents to cycling. It relates more to the perception of safety and infrastructure.

In terms of Victoria's focus to help support the uptake of cycling, that has been focusing on trying to address some of those issues to do with the infrastructure. This government has committed $100 million to improving the safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Plus there is other work looking at strategic cycling corridors to make sure that we are supporting cycling in this state by ensuring that we have linked up paths so that there is that separation between cyclists and vehicles, particularly given their vulnerability.

Senator CANAVAN: With all due respect, Ms Seymour, saying that other factors are more important is a little bit of a red herring, in my view, in terms of this question, because you were here earlier when I said the biggest barrier to me riding when I lived in Canberra was not the infrastructure we had around, it was the cold and the frost—except you can do anything about that. I recognise the efforts of the Victorian government to invest in infrastructure, but we have had a surprisingly disproportionate number of witnesses from regional Victoria complaining about the laws. They are unlikely, I would suspect, to receive a lot of investment from that infrastructure spending. That is not a criticism. A lot of these towns are not big enough to justify large spends in cycle infrastructure.

I am not asking your opinion, but from a policy perspective, shouldn't we weigh up the costs and benefits of mandatory health laws on their own merits, not that there aren't other things we could do, of course, and some of those we have progressed. But, surely, we can look at the costs and benefits of these laws on their own.

Ms Seymour : One of the things that concerns VicRoads is that cycling in regional and rural communities means that cyclists are riding on high-speed rural roads and highways, and often those roads do not necessarily have a sealed shoulder so they are absolutely in the traffic lane riding with very high-speed vehicles. That, from a safety perspective, is a concern. Wearing helmets is an important aspect of trying to protect our cyclists. The consequences of brain injury to that individual, their family, their friends and their community is significant.

CHAIR: If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, it is not going to make much difference if they are impacted by a vehicle on a country road travelling at high speed. Is prohibiting cycling on those roads under consideration?

Ms Seymour : No, it is not.

CHAIR: What difference does it make whether they are wearing a helmet or not? They are cactus either way.

Senator CANAVAN: That is a matter of opinion. I live in a regional town. Ms Seymour, presumably you live in Melbourne.

Ms Seymour : I live in Melbourne, but my family live in regional Victoria.

Senator CANAVAN: I take your point about some regional areas, but there is actually usually a town in a regional area as well. It is not 100-kilometre roads and it is not necessarily without guttering and shoulders. I am not from regional Victoria; I am from regional Queensland. Certainly in my town there are very wide streets in some areas, and it would be perfectly safe. Of course, there are not a lot of bike paths in my town and there never will be. In the context of wanting to keep Victorians safe—and that is an admirable goal—there seem to be very different issues for regional Victoria if you are only looking, particularly, at investment in infrastructure and bike paths. It is going to leave a lot of people without that option—and you can take that as a comment.

CHAIR: On VicRoads website there is a statement which reads:

Even though bicycle helmets are mandatory, the number of people cycling is increasing each year.

We have heard evidence to suggest that that may be incorrect. The Austroads surveys carried out as part of the ongoing assessment of the National Cycling Strategy shows that the rate of bicycle use in Victoria is actually in decline. Do you accept that?

Ms Seymour : I would need to check that evidence.

CHAIR: Would you like to take that one on notice? I do not want to put you on the spot too much today.

Ms Seymour : Sure.

Senator CANAVAN: We have received a fair amount of evidence. I am not sure if you are aware that the Northern Territory relaxed their laws some 20-odd years ago now to allow non-helmet bike riding on bike paths, shared paths and, I believe, roads with low speed limits—although, for a long time I do not think they had speed limits in the Northern Territory, did they? Have you looked at the experience of that area of our country with those laws and what impact they have had?

Ms Seymour : No, we have not.

Senator CANAVAN: You can take this as a comment, but I would advise you to do that because there was some interesting evidence presented to this committee about the impact of a set of laws that are different from those in rest of the country on cyclists' use and also on injuries and trauma from cycling.

Ms Seymour : One of the things that I have read is that 75 per cent of cycling crashes actually do not involve another road user. That means a cyclist has fallen or hit something, in which case from a safe system perspective, a helmet is really important to protect a very vulnerable part of your body and ensure that you are not seriously injured in that crash. From our perspective on bike paths and shared paths, helmet wearing is really important, and the basis of it still stands.

Senator CANAVAN: As I have said previously—you were not here—I think we should base all laws on evidence, particularly laws like this which restrict freedom. Certainly, the evidence from the Territory seems a bit at odds with that statement.

CHAIR: There are ABS figures which only count trips to work, but they give us some sort of a guide to cycling participation. They show a consistent drop in regional centres like Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat from around four per cent of trips to work being by cycling to less than one per cent. This occurred after the introduction of mandatory helmet laws, and I am led to believe that that fall has remained the case to today. Some people have suggested, and I think you have agreed with them, that the number of bike riders has approached pre-legislation levels. Is that your view? Doesn't this decline suggest that that is not the case?

Ms Seymour : That is my view. After the introduction of mandatory helmets we did see a decline for a couple of years, but then, according to the reports I have read, the cycling rates regained to the same position as prior to the law, and have increased since then.

CHAIR: Can you tell me what you base that on—that is, your view that they have returned to pre-legislation levels?

Ms Seymour : I will need to provide you with the research.

CHAIR: There is a statement on VicRoads website saying:

There was also an immediate reduction in bike riders, however by 1992 the numbers of bike riders had approached pre-legislation levels.

Would that be the one?

Ms Seymour : Yes, that is right.

CHAIR: If you go to the original report this is based on, it involved a count of cyclists in 1992 that included a one-off cycling rally passing through one of the observation sites, which inflated the count for 1992, and no correction was made for that. Had that site been excluded from all three annual counts, due to its distortion, no recovery would have been recorded. Are you aware of that?

Ms Seymour : No, I am not.

CHAIR: What I am suggesting to you is that perhaps your reliance on that information cited on your website may be erroneously based. Have you actually ever carried out a survey or anything similar on the effect of mandatory helmet laws on cycling participation outside Melbourne?

Ms Seymour : Not in the time that I have been in this role.

CHAIR: The National Cycling Strategy has some noble aspirations in it, in terms of cycling participation, but the evidence we have heard suggests that it does not have a snowball's hope of being achieved. There have been several witnesses who have said they place great faith in infrastructure being the solution to that. Yet, the biggest reductions in cycling participation after mandatory helmets came in were in regional areas. Also, as Senator Canavan has pointed out, the likelihood of regional areas getting infrastructure upgrades to the standard of connected pathways to get them off roads, to increase safety, is not very great. Are we really talking about infrastructure being the solution? The National Cycling Strategy is going to struggle for a long time, isn't it, if we are just going to rely on infrastructure?

Ms Seymour : In terms of encouraging the uptake of cycling, I think there is a range of things we need to do. A large part of that is infrastructure. Also, I am aware that organisations like Bicycle Network run programs to encourage children to ride to school. That is a really important part of encouraging the long-term uptake of cycling. We have a bike-ed program that we have available. It is those kinds of initiatives, in combination with infrastructure, the requirement to wear helmets, and supporting cyclists, that will see the future uptake of cycling in Victoria. Regional infrastructure is important as part of that mix.

CHAIR: All of that depends on taxpayers having enough money to pay for all this infrastructure. Taxpayer spending on infrastructure is always under serious challenge. I am just wondering whether it is not a forlorn hope that cycling's future depends on all this spending on infrastructure.

Ms Seymour: Part of it is being really deliberate about the choices we make around where we improve the infrastructure. Strategic Cycling Corridors, for example, is really looking at where the main areas and routes are that cyclists are using to get to the key locations they want to cycle to and is prioritising the infrastructure upgrades in those sites to maximise both the safety and the participation in cycling in those high-use areas.

CHAIR: It is hard to avoid the feeling that Australia is going its own route on this. Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates are the only countries in the world with enforced mandatory helmet laws. Even after 25 years no other countries have chosen to go down this path. Do you think we know something they do not or that they know something we do not?

Ms Seymour: VicRoads is very proud of its performance in the road safety sphere. We have led the world with a number of regulations, seatbelts being one and bicycle helmets being another. They form really important parts of the safety features available to road users, to help protect them in the event of a crash. VicRoads is very committed to ensuring that we do protect our vulnerable road users and our other road users, which sits well with the premise under Safe System and the Towards Zero strategy that no-one should be killed or seriously injured in the event of a crash.

CHAIR: The effect of mandatory seatbelts was not to deter people from driving their cars. After 25 years there is not a lobby group, nor even a political party now, committed to ending seatbelts. There now is in relation to mandatory helmets. No other countries have taken up mandatory helmets, and yet nearly every country in the world has seatbelt legislation. There is quite a big difference there, don't you think?

Ms Seymour : VicRoads is really comfortable with the evidence that supports the mandating of bike helmets in Victoria.

CHAIR: What a loyal servant. Thank you for your evidence. We appreciate it. Thank you to all the witnesses who have appeared today. Thanks also to Hansard and broadcasting.

Committee adjourned at 16:12