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Tuesday, 9 May 2000
Page: 16104


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 6 March 2000:

(1) What action has been taken by the Government to implement Australia Cycling—The National Strategy 1999-2004, to promote cycling and the safety of cyclists.

(2) Did the Government give consideration to the strategy when preparing the National Road Safety Strategy; if so, what.

(3) Were studies conducted on the impact of the new Australian Road Rule 119 on cyclists; if so are the studies available for public consultation; if so, where.

(4) How many cyclists were injured or killed at roundabouts each year since 1995.


Mr Anderson (Deputy Prime Minister) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Government has participated in implementing Australia Cycling—The National Strategy directly by:

providing the secretariat for the Australian Bicycle Council (ABC) which was established in April 1999 and includes representatives of the three spheres of government, as well as representatives of industry and user groups;

supporting the communications plan for Australia Cycling including through use of my department's web site which includes a complete copy of Australia Cycling and information about the ABC, including membership and the Terms of Reference, as well as links to member bodies web sites;

developing guidelines for cycling data and indicators with funding through the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care; and

supporting infrastructure development by maintaining untied road funding to all State, Territory and Local Governments.

and indirectly, through the actions of the ABC for which it provides a secretariat, by:

developing and adopting Terms of Reference and operating arrangements for the ABC;

completing a Memorandum of Understanding between Austroads Inc and the ABC;

establishing working groups to progress implementation in areas ranging from local government policy to behaviour change programs;

approaching relevant peak transport bodies seeking representation; and

developing a research project for funding by Austroads in 2000-2001.

(2) I assume the honourable member refers to the draft National Road Safety Strategy currently being developed—the existing strategy was adopted in 1992 and therefore predates Australia Cycling—The National Strategy.

The draft Strategy is being developed jointly by the Commonwealth, States and Territory Governments. The Government is giving consideration to Australia Cyclingin formulating its input into the development process.

The Australian Road Rules were studied by the Federal Office of Road Safety (FORS) prior to their adoption. FORS did not seek to oppose Rule 119 as it took the view that

(a) the conflict which the Rule addresses warranted attention, and

(b) had the alternative priority between the road users in conflict been prescribed, cyclists would have been exposed to a much greater and unacceptable risk.

There was no formal FORS study conducted on the impact of Rule 119 on cyclists. I am not aware of whether any State or Territory authority conducted a study of the Road Rules.

(4) Data held by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau indicates the following number of cyclists have been killed or hospitalised in crashes at roundabouts since 1995:

Fatalities

Hospitalised

1995

0

37

1996

0

37

1997

0

50

Data for 1998 and 1999 is not yet available.