PROPOSAL TO FINE THOSE RECKLESSLY DRIVING INTO FLOODWATERS

Monday, 17 October 2016

PARLIAMENTARY Secretary for Northern NSW and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is asking the community for feedback on a proposal for the State Government to levy fines against motorists who recklessly drive into floodwaters.

Mr Marshall said his colleague, Kiama MP Gareth Ward, was urging the government to take action against those who recklessly endangered their own lives, as well as those emergency services volunteers who had to rescue them.

The local MP said the lives of volunteer emergency services workers should not be put a risk and that the proposal would see all funds raised returned to volunteer emergency services.

“Our local State Emergency Services volunteers are incredibly dedicated individuals and they do an absolutely tremendous job across our region and across the State assisting people during their hour of need,” Mr Marshall said.

“But the message simply isn’t getting through. Every time we see flooding, we see reckless behaviour that unnecessarily puts lives at risk.

“The SES performed around 300 flood rescues across the State in early June 2016 with approximately half of those involving cars stuck in floodwaters.

“People who enter flood waters after heavy rain are not only putting themselves in danger – they are also putting our RFS and SES volunteers in harm’s way and I don’t believe that is fair or acceptable.

Mr Marshall said the community needed to do everything it could to support our emergency services personnel and a fine could act as a financial deterrent to motorists who were considering entering floodwaters.

“I think a fine, as a consequence for people’s reckless actions, might make some people think twice before driving into floodwaters,” he said.

“I am keen to hear what the community thinks of this proposal so I can communicate those views to the Minister for Emergency Services and the government.”

Feedback can be provided via Mr Marshall’s electorate offices in Armidale (02 6772 5552) and Moree (02 6752 5002) or via email northerntablelands@parliament.nsw.gov.au

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