National Road Safety Week 2019

I thank the member for Heathcote for bringing forward this matter of public importance. It gives me great pleasure to speak about National Road Safety Week and to join with my colleagues in Parliament to acknowledge National Road Safety Week. It is especially important to me as I acknowledge the important work done by Peter Frazer, from the Blue Mountains, through the Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group. Peter Frazer tragically lost his daughter Sarah Frazer, one of my constituents, to a road accident on the Hume Highway in 2012. I acknowledge the tragic consequences of this event on the lives of Sarah's friends and family, and on the loved ones of the tow truck driver who was also killed in that accident.

In the years since that tragic incident Peter has been unrelenting in his campaign to ensure that motorists drive so others survive. Peter and his family hail from the Blue Mountains, and I have reflected in the past in this place on the significance of the Great Western Highway to the lives of my constituents. The highway is a way of life for almost every resident of the Blue Mountains. Not only is it our connection to jobs and commerce in Sydney or Lithgow; it is also the main arterial road between each village and township to the shopping centres of Springwood, Katoomba and Winmalee. Likewise for constituents in the villages of Mount Wilson, Mount Irvine and Mount Tomah at the northern end of my electorate, the Bells Line of Road is a similar fact of daily life for every resident.

The message of National Road Safety Week is a very personal one for us in the Blue Mountains. Month in, month out, since 2012 we have seen yellow ribbons for road safety—like those adorning our jackets today—tied to the radio antennas of cars travelling on the Great Western Highway. For our community, road safety is a constant concern. To this end, I acknowledge my friends and Blue Mountains residents Jasmine Payget and Laurie Strathdee who lost their son Rian in 2004 in an as yet unsolved hit-and-run incident involving a truck on the Hume Highway near the Southern Highlands. Rian was just five years old. I acknowledge the pain, grief and anguish of all people affected by road trauma, and I acknowledge the very difficult job of emergency services personnel and first responders who deal on a daily basis with catastrophic road incidents.

I thank members of this Parliament for wearing yellow ribbons for road safety and engaging with this matter of public importance. In many ways these awareness campaigns are grassroots efforts to bring our attention to an important issue and make sure that we address it. It is absolutely crucial that we do not restrict our efforts to wearing a yellow ribbon and giving a speech here today. As legislators, we must act. I call upon this Parliament and our Federal Parliament not just to speak on this issue but to act. State and Federal governments must work continually towards improving our road infrastructure and updating our road rules so that motorists are supported to drive so others survive.

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