Speeding not for strained council

ROCKHAMPTON Regional councillor Glenda Mather has slammed a colleague's call for local government to be given speed camera enforcement powers, saying he has “lost the plot”.

Cr Greg Belz this week backed a suggestion to give council the ability to fine speeding motorists, made in the draft National Road Safety Strategy to be reviewed later this month.

Cr Belz told The Bully he believed it would help to reduce the number of speedsters on suburban streets.

But Cr Mather said she was tired of the responsibilities of State and Federal governments being passed down to local level.

“If the State Government cannot, or will not provide adequate resources for the police to monitor speedsters then Cr Belz should be encouraged to aim his criticisms at the state,” Cr Mather said.

“His ill-thought-out idea would only cause additional burden for ratepayers, when we already have enough evidence of the state devolving many of its responsibilities to local councils, causing unnecessary increases in rates and charges.”

She said council had enough difficulty in controlling the wandering dog problem as it was, and said to suggest it take on the speedsters as well was almost laughable.

“If Cr Belz is so concerned about road safety in suburbia, then why hasn't he brought the ‘hot spots' to the table for referral to the police for action?” Cr Mather asked.

“And if he has a complaint about the police not doing their job, has he referred that complaint to the police minister for action?”

She said the initiative would only lead to extra problems and more costs for an already overburdened council.

“To suggest a role of this nature be imposed on council staff, would mean additional legal training, additional equipment, installation and regular maintenance and calibrating, administration office, processing of offences, reports to council, and on it goes.”

“I would be very happy to work with Cr Belz in finding a solution to speedsters, but let's not keep burdening the ratepayers.”

Cr Belz said the most important thing was to approach the matter with an open mind and to listen to the thoughts of the community.

He said he had worked with council officers in his division to record traffic speeds and data and, where prudent, had referred this data to police.

“When I have brought matters to the attention of the police service they have acted promptly to undertake speed enforcement activities in the area,” Cr Belz said.

“Common sense says that police cannot be everywhere.”

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