Bill: ROAD TRAFFIC (HELMETS) AMENDMENT BILL


Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (10:40): I am very pleased to be able to rise today to speak on the Road Traffic (Helmets) Amendment Bill that the member for Schubert has brought forward as the shadow minister for road safety. When a member of the community comes to a member of parliament saying that something the government has done has affected them and impacted on their lives—they have been charged with or fined for an offence—you have to look at the situation presented to you and ask yourself, 'If this was happening down at the pub, would people believe me?' When the member for Schubert was confronted with this situation—that is, people being fined for having a camera on their helmet—I imagine something like that went through his mind.

I think this bill is worthy of the house's serious consideration. In addressing what I think is maybe not an earth-shattering wickedness, but it is a wrong in the legislation, it is clear that there are helmets designed now to be able to take these cameras, and I do not see any reason on earth why we should be prohibiting that. In a free society, you need a reason to stop something, not a reason why something should be allowed. Unfortunately, it appears that is not clear in the legislation, and the member for Schubert has taken steps to address this.

I must say that GoPro technology is very popular in the community at the moment and even very popular in the government. I remember when the member for Light was the minister for correctional services—

Mr Pengilly: For a brief time.

Mr GARDNER: —for a brief time maybe, but he was the minister—I remember there was an estimates hearing at which the minister realised that he would be asked and would have to announce that South Australia had reached a record number of prisoners, hundreds more prisoners than had been budgeted for. The government does not like talking about racking, packing and stacking anymore because they have worked out that it is not a very good way to run a prison system, that it is not very effective and leads to further problems.

But at that time they were racking, packing and stacking 2,700 people. I think in the minister's office the question was, 'How are we going to stop this being in the news?' One of the advisers—and I have a suspicion I know the young man involved, and he is still working somewhere government and good luck to him—came up with this idea: 'Let's put a GoPro on a prison dog so that we can have all the media come and have a look at the prison cells being searched. They don't even need to come because we've got a GoPro on a dog.'

That night, when the TV news came out, there was a story about the prisons and 2,700 prisoners, but it was buried at the back end of the story because there was GoPro on a dog running around the prison cells. It was almost dressed up as a cute story that hid the tremendous and shocking number of people being locked up in cells. The point I make is that this technology is commonplace and it is everyday. It is so commonplace and everyday that even the member for Light, as the minister for corrections, was able to use it. The extension of that to people riding a bicycle preceded even the member for Light's appreciation of the value of a GoPro.

Consequently, the opposition supports this common-sense legislation, which will enhance freedoms in people's lives. As a general point of principle, anything that enhances or extends our freedoms is something the Liberal Party supports, and I am very pleased to support the member for Schubert in his endeavours.