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Journeys : April May 2010
Kettering precinct promises welcomed The R ACT will keep the two main political parties to their promises on Bruny Island ferry access at Kettering. Both major parties promised to upgrade the ferry access and sur rounds during the state election campaign. Through its Southern Regional Advisory Committee, the R ACT has taken a close interest over several years in the congested ferry access at Kettering. "We've been concerned that the facilities are inappropriate and dangerous, both for motorists queuing to get onto the ferry and for local residents and pedestrians," says R ACT spokesman Vince Taskunas. "Residents, pedestrian s, commuters, visitors and Tasmania's travel brand itself will all benefit from a gover nment focus on fixing congestion, ser vices and road safety around the Bruny Island ferry terminal," Mr Taskunas says. "It is also heartening to hear that consideration is being given to an additional ferry service operating alongside the Mirambeena to address the growing peak period demand," he says. The traditional two-week peak period starting Boxing Day has, over the last few years, grow n strongly and now covers at least six weeks, starting mid-December and extending to the end of January. The Tasmanian driving assessment process Comment by the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Recent articles in The Advocate have questioned the process used to assess North West applicants going for their driving test. The RACT is reported as saying that it supports the concerns aired by driving instructors and has no reason to disbelieve professionals. Because the professionalism of driving assessors has been called into question, it is time that the record was set straight. The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) strongly disputes claims made by driving instructors that North West driving assessors have been directed to fail more applicants. DIER's driving assessors assess each applicant against a pre- determined standard on the evidence they provide during the assessment -- any suggestion that this is not the case is simply wrong. The RACT itself admits that it has no evidence of any interference in driving assessment results. A desirable requirement for driving assessors is a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. They are required to complete this as part of their employment if they do not already hold this qualification. In addition they undertake a specific two-week training course. They are also continually subject to peer assessments, moderation days and audits to identify any gaps in performance and/or any departure from the pre-deter mined standard. While it may be tr ue that many rural-based people do lear n to drive a car in the paddock at a young age, this does not equip them to be safe and competent drivers on the road. Many rural youths attend their assessment with undeveloped skills in the 'look' criteria (particularly lack of head-checks and mirror checks); 'signal' criteria (particularly signalling off roundabouts); and 'responsiveness' criteria (particularly responding to potentially- dangerous developing situations). It is true that the vast majority of newly-arrived immigrants appear to be settling in the south of the state and as they tend to have a high failure rate because they are not accustomed to Australian road r ules and conditions, this accounts for a small discrepancy in the overall higher pass rate in the North West in comparison with other regions. It is self-evident that conducting a driving assessment in the Hobart CBD will present many more challenging traffic environments and situations for an applicant than conducting that same assessment in many North West regional centres. Regional centres in the North West include low traffic density and traffic infrastructure areas such as Queenstown, Smithton, Sheffield and Wynyard, which offer a less-challenging environment than a major urban centre. It is important to note that when an applicant has successfully completed an assessment in a regional area they are not restricted in where they may then drive. Tasmania, like most other states (Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales), does not allow driving instructors in the vehicle during an assessment, although there are strictly-defined exceptions in some circumstances. Tassie's wildlife needs your help Local filmmaker Chloe Lucas, a foundation member of the R ACT's Roadkill For um, needs the help of R ACT members. Chloe has designed two signs (one show n above) as part of an ongoing roadkill education and awareness project. "I'd like to get some feedback from the public as to which signs might be most effective," Chloe says. "So I've put together an online sur vey and I'm wondering if R ACT members might respond to it." If you have five minutes that you can devote to helping achieve a better understanding of the roadkill problem, the sur vey can be found at http://w w w.surveymonkey.com/s/R88PRBD For more infor mation about the issue or to download GPS files that highlight roadkill hotspots in Tasmania, go to www.roadkilltas.com The R ACT Community Fund proudly supports this work. In our community 7 April / May 10
Feb March 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010