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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4635

Mr Whitlam asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

What action (a) did the Gorton , Government take and (b) has the McMahon Government taken on . the letter sent to the former Prime Minister by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons on 3rd April 1970 about road accident mortality and morbidity.

Mr McMahon - T am informed that:

There is no record of a letter- of 3rd April 1970 to the former Prime Minister from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. However, in a letter of 23rd April the College proposed the establishment of a Commonwealth Authority for Road Safety wilh a source of funds and appropriate machinery to support a programme of research into the prevention of road accidents or serious injury. Although thi Commonwealth did , not accept the recommendation for the establishment of a statutory authority, it did take note of the representations of the College of' Surgeons and other interested bodies when it sets up an Expert Group on Road Safety in September last year. This Committee, a group of people expert in the fields of law, safely engineering, medicine, psychology and road and mechanical engineering, advises' the Minister for Shipping and Transport on all aspects of road safety.

The 'Expert Group is presently engaged in a National Review of the Road Accident Situation. This is a comprehensive examination and evaluation of all available Australian and overseas data relating to each major factor associated with road safety. As part of this Review, the latest information on road safety will be highlighted at a national symposium which will be conducted in Canberra next March by the Expert Group. Australian and overseas experts will present papers at this symposium.

On completion of the National' Review, ,he Expert Group will be reporting to the Minister for Shipping and Transport on the fundamental causes of road' accidents and how best the road toll iri Australia may' be reduced.

The Minister for Shipping and Transport, through the Australian Transport Advisory Council, is continuing to take action on a uniform basis throughout Australia to promote road safety, establish safer road systems and ensure the production df safer motor vehicles..

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