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Deputy Speaker Llew O’Brien, I note from the outset your longstanding interest in all things road safety. I had the opportunity this week to meet with Michelle McLaughlin, who told me a tragic but inspirational story. Seven years ago, she lost her four-year-old son, Tom, in a tragic road accident. He was struck by a car while the family were on holidays. Four hundred and thirty children have died since then in road crashes. Michelle has found strength to turn this tragedy into something positive in Tom’s memory. She formed the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation. Her mission is to help educate and to protect child pedestrians from dangers on our roads.

Since 2014, 63 councils and four states have engaged with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation. They’ve done things like installing high-profile and colourful signs which recognise that, in peak holiday times, there is a lot more activity around our communities and beachside areas and also the importance of holding a child’s hand at all times near a road. These messages and signs are installed by local governments near beaches, key playgrounds and car parks. It’s a prevention strategy that I believe needs a national rollout. I’ve written to the minister for transport in this regard—and I note the assistant minister at the table as well—and suggested to him that we add a statement of expectations to the Roads to Recovery Program to encourage local government to roll out, on a national level, the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation signage.

Finally, I encourage everyone listening today to please slow down, pay attention and stay safe on our roads this Christmas.

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