Green road pact on 30km/h limits

Green road pact on 30km/h limits, by Geoff Chambers.

Australian Deputy PM, Michael McCormack. Turned up for the culture war in the wrong uniform.

Australia is preparing to sign an international road safety declaration in Sweden that endorses a 30km/h limit on suburban roads in response to “traffic injuries, air quality and climate change”.

Nationals leader Michael McCormack is scheduled to attend the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety on February 19, where he will join other transport and infrastructure ministers in ratifying the Stockholm Declaration, which will be referred to the UN.

A draft obtained by The Weekend Australian includes a preamble recommending integration of road safety with UN Sustainable Development Goals, including climate action, gender equality and reduced inequalities targets.

The summit is expected to endorse speeding up the “shift toward cleaner, safer and more affordable modes of transport, incorporating higher levels of physical activity such as walking, cycling and using public transit”.

Clause seven of the draft declaration .. resolves to strengthen “law enforcement to ensure zero speeding and mandate a maximum road travel speed limit of 30km/h … in residential areas and urban neighbourhoods within cities as efforts to reduce speed will have an impact on both road traffic injuries, air quality and climate change”. …

Mr McCormack did not answer questions on whether he supported 30km/h limits, integrating road safety with climate action or if the government would purchase a “sustainable vehicle fleet”.

Discord in government ranks?

In October, Scott Morrison delivered a speech urging Australia to “avoid any reflex towards a negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community … And worse still, an unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy”.

Our PM and the bureaucracy are on different sides of the culture war. It is the bureaucracy that will have organized the treaty and Australia’s participation, and they just expect a government figurehead will go along and sign it. Wake up, politicians! This is exactly the sort of thing our PM was talking about.