Ben­nett tells col­leagues to back re­form

One step to harsher crash penal­ties

NewsMail - - NEWS - ASH­LEY CLARK ash­

QUEENS­LAND’S Par­lia­ment has passed Walk­ers Law, in­creas­ing the pun­ish­ment for driv­ers whose care­less driv­ing kills and maims in­no­cent peo­ple.

The pe­ti­tion for Walk­ers Law was started by Bund­aberg women Kerri Walker and Tr­isha Mab­ley af­ter their adult chil­dren were in­volved in a horror smash on Easter Mon­day last year.

Mrs Walker’s chil­dren, Sarah and Daniel, were killed in the Bruce High­way crash while Mrs Mab­ley’s son, Peter Knowles, sur­vived but suf­fered lifethreat­en­ing in­juries.

The driver who caused the crash, Don­ald Ge­orge Gayler, was handed a $3000 fine and lost his li­cence for three months.

Bur­nett MP Stephen Ben­nett, who cham­pi­oned their cause, was thrilled with yes­ter­day’s out­come.

“I would like to pay trib­ute to the Walker fam­ily, and their sup­port­ers for their ongoing ef­forts to ad­vo­cate for stronger Queens­land laws for neg­li­gent driv­ing caus­ing death or griev­ous bod­ily harm,” Mr Ben­nett said.

“Their strength, de­ter­mi­na­tion and com­mit­ment for change is why we will see lives saved on our roads.

“I have no doubt that the be­hav­iour on our roads will change as a re­sult of these new laws.

“This is a great day for democ­racy and is proof that peo­ple power can and does work.”

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, Mr Ben­nett urged col­leagues to sup­port stronger laws for neg­li­gent driv­ing caus­ing death or griev­ous bod­ily harm.

“I stand here in this house deeply sad­dened...,” he be­gan as he delved into the tur­moil that had be­come Mrs Walker and Mrs Mab­ley’s lives since that fate­ful day last year.

In his speech, Mr Ben­nett spoke of the 8100 sig­na­tures the pe­ti­tion had gained de­mand­ing change since the crash.

“The cur­rent laws are not strong enough ... I think there is more to be done,” he said.

Last week, he spoke about how Mrs Walker and Mrs Mab­ley were the driv­ing force be­hind the push.

“The fam­ily has made this govern­ment sit up, lis­ten and ad­mit that our cur­rent laws con­cern­ing care­less and dan­ger­ous driv­ing are not strong enough.”


PE­TI­TION: Stephen Ben­nett speaks in Par­lia­ment.

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