A Ministerial Statement was made in Parliament this August about the role of the Road Safety Council Chair and Professor D'Arcy Holman's honorary appointment.
Statement by Minister for Police
MR R.F. JOHNSON (Hillarys - Minister for Police) [12.09 pm]: Prior to delivering my brief ministerial statement and on behalf of the Minister for Agriculture and Food, I acknowledge in the Speaker's gallery the Agricultural Research Group from Libya. Obviously we welcome them very much indeed.
Last Sunday it was my great privilege to announce that I had appointed Professor D'Arcy Holman as the incoming independent chair of the Road Safety Council. Professor Holman is a world-renowned expert in public health and is indeed the chair in public health at the University of Western Australia's School of Population Health. His credentials are impeccable and he is someone in whom our state can take great pride. I believe his intellect, knowledge, experience and concern for the public good will prove invaluable as we meet the challenges that lie ahead in road safety and implementing the Towards Zero strategy. Western Australia is very fortunate to have a person of Professor Holman's calibre in such an important position.
I also believe the outgoing chair, Mr Grant Dorrington, is owed an enormous debt of gratitude from all sides of politics and, indeed, from the people of Western Australia. Twelve years ago road safety in Western Australia lacked focus. Death and serious injuries on our state's roads were at horrific levels, yet Mr Dorrington welcomed the challenge to become the first chair of the inaugural Road Safety Council. Few people realise that this position does not come with any sizeable remuneration and that it is largely a voluntary role. Few people realise the demands of this job, just in terms of not only time but also emotional stress. I am told that Mr Dorrington endeavoured to personally contact many families of those killed in road crashes to offer his support. He was always available to the media at weekends, after hours and on public holidays. He never complained about the demands of the position; rather, he maintained his passion and enthusiasm for the role and even agreed to remain in the position while we set about finding the best candidate for the job. Mr Dorrington also leaves our state's roads in a much safer state than they were in when he took on the role. He started at a time when the annual fatality rate on Western Australia's roads was 14.1 deaths per 100 000 people. Last year, that figure was down to 9.62 per 100 000. Clearly many lives have been saved directly as a result of his work and efforts amongst key decision makers to raise the profile of this terrible problem. Mr Dorrington has my appreciation and, I hope, the appreciation of the other side of the house as he retires from the post, which Professor Holman will officially assume in November.
I offer both men my congratulations and I hope that members from all sides of the house will join with me in offering Mr Dorrington our thanks and in wishing Professor Holman success for the future.