ABC News 2nd July 2012
New South Wales households will face bigger utilities bills and fines from today, but some will benefit from new State Government schemes this financial year.
Drivers caught speeding and running red lights will be slugged an extra 12.5 per cent on their traffic fines, but drivers who haven't been fined for five years will get back half of their licence fees.
As well as rising council rates, water and gas prices, the average New South Wales household will be hit with an 18 per cent jump in electricity bills which the pricing regulator puts down to rising network costs and the carbon tax.
However the State Government will give half a million families a new $75 rebate to help offset the cost.
It is also offering a new $5,000 financial year sweetener for those looking to buy newly-built homes under $650,000.
The Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, says there is good news for good drivers in the changes.
"People who have done the right thing for five years, have had no demerit points, they're going to get 50 per cent off the renewal of their licence," Mr Gay said.Add a comment
Vicki Dunne MLA. Photo: Jay Cronan
Michael Inman, Noel Towell (Canberra Times)
July 1, 2012
FIVE ACT MLAs have been fined a combined $4247 for traffic infringements while driving taxpayer-funded cars.
The Sunday Canberra Times can reveal the Liberal and Labor members have accumulated 10 separate speeding and parking offences since the 2008 territory election.
While the MLAs were forced to pay the fines out of their own pockets, the cars driven were provided by the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Documents obtained under freedom of information show Canberra Liberals justice spokeswoman Vicki Dunne was the worst offender, racking up five infringements since January 2010.
The would-be attorney-general was slugged a total of $1827 for two parking and three speeding breaches.
The most recent was in June last year, when Ms Dunne was caught travelling at 89km/h in an 80km/h zone on Hindmarsh Drive.
Ms Dunne has kept a clean sheet for the past 12 months and was penitent about her previous indiscretions.
''There's never an excuse for speeding,'' Ms Dunne said. ''This car is used regularly by myself and my family and when these issues have arisen everyone who uses the car - including myself - is reminded of their responsibility not to exceed the speed limit.''
Alistair Coe was the only other Liberal MLA caught breaking the law.
The ardent critic of fixed speed cameras was clocked travelling at 94km/h in an 80km/h zone on the Federal Highway between Antill Street and Majura Road.
He was fined $745.
Police Minister Simon Corbell was the worst of the Labor MLAs, booked twice for parking violations.
The Attorney-General was fined $255.
Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has kept a clean slate since becoming leader in May last year.
But Ms Gallagher was not so lucky in 2008, when she was caught 10km/h above the speed-limit in Watson and fined $675.
Children's Minister Joy Burch was also caught speeding in Watson and penalised $745.
The ACT Greens avoided running foul of the law, with the environmentally conscious party forgoing the right to a taxpayer-funded vehicle.Add a comment
Herald Sun 4th June 2012
LAST year Premier Barry O’Farrell won widespread applause from motorists when he ordered a review of speed cameras on the state’s roads, promising to remove any that were shown to be more cash cow than safety measure.
That review led to 38 fixed-speed cameras being switched off.
Now Mr O’Farrell’s government is presiding over a huge surge in the number of cameras, prompting the inevitable criticism that it is following its predecessors on the hunt for more dollars from a prolific source.
Seven of the switched-off cameras will be switched back on, putting the total of old-style fixed cameras at about 139.
Red light cameras – including, presumably, the newer-type ‘‘safety’’ cameras that monitor both traffic light and speed transgressions – will increase in number from 91 to 200.
The number of controversial mobile speed cameras, operated from parked roadside vehicles, will increase from six to 45. Anger has been expressed in many communities about these cameras being located in places that seem chosen for purposes of entrapment rather than for genuine accident prevention.
NSW motorists are to get earlier warning of "sneaky" mobile speed cameras.
State roads minister Duncan Gay has ordered bigger signs in camera locations, to eliminate "that whole feeling of entrapment" some drivers experience.
"Sneakiness in this area certainly does concern me," Mr Gay told the Seven Network on Monday.
"Road safety should have a deterrent role."
Private firm Redflex began operating six mobile speed cameras in July 2010, on a contract for the NSW government.
But the Seven Network has reported concerns that motorists are being given little or no notice when they are approaching the devices.
Mr Gay said he had ordered Roads and Maritime Services to replace the old signs.
"I've instructed the department to put in place larger signs, further away from these cameras," he said.
Wish to add your comments - No need to log in to have your say.
Add a comment
A LIGHTNING strike has given some speeding Canberra drivers a month's grace.
Point-to-point cameras on the territory's roads will not start working for another month because cameras were struck by a bolt of lightning during a thunderstorm in December.
The cameras were located near the intersection of Hindmarsh Drive and Mugga Way at Red Hill.
While the destroyed cameras were quickly replaced, the connection between the cameras and loop detector set into the road surface was damaged.
The cameras subsequently failed testing by an independent body earlier this month.
ACT transport regulation acting senior director Brett Swale said the problem had been fixed and now awaited the green light from certifiers Societe Generale de Surveillance Australia before becoming operational in late February.
The certification process will take place in the coming weeks and involves a test vehicle, mounted with a timing unit, passing through the detection points.
The recorded times are then checked to ensure the devices are accurate within a tolerance of 2per cent.
Mr Swale also moved to allay concerns the speed cameras had no margin for error.
Motorists have raised concerns that mid-2006 changes in the Australian Design Standards for speedometers could mean that Canberrans driving early model cars could be slugged with a fine through dodgy readings.
While he could not reveal the margin for error allowed in ACT speed traps, Mr Swale said Canberrans should not fear if they stick to the set limits.
''All traffic cameras in the ACT, including point-to-point cameras, take into account a small margin of driver error,'' Mr Swale said.
''If people drive within the speed limit then they won't have a problem.''
Mr Swale urged motorists to get their vehicle's speedometer checked if they were concerned about faulty readings.Add a comment
The former head of the Roads and Traffic Authority's Road Safety Centre has defended a New South Wales Government decision to turn off a speed camera near the scene of a fatal north coast accident this week.
Two people, including an 11-year-old boy, died at Urunga on Sunday when a truck and utility crashed into a house.
Dr Soames Job says more speed cameras need to be installed across NSW.
However, he says switching off of the Urunga camera was justified.
"The data indicated that some cameras weren't giving us the road safety benefit we expected for various complex reasons," he said.
"There is a reasonableness to that.
"I think what is getting in the way is that there is a lot of media constantly saying that cameras are just for revenue, that speed cameras don't work, that speed cameras are inaccurate. All of those statements are false."
He says the Government should expand its point-to-point speed camera program, which he says is currently only used for trucks.Add a comment