The Nationals Roads Safety VicRoads Danny O'Brien highway bariiers wire rope barriers princess highway safety risk wasted funds

Auditor slams botched wire rope barrier program

The Victorian Auditor General has released a report that confirms what many Gippslanders already know – the Andrews Labor Government has botched the roll out of wire rope safety barriers.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said that The Nationals understand that road side barriers can help save lives but the community knows the program has been messed up.

“The independent Victorian Auditor General’s report found that the wire rope barrier program was $100 million, or 22 per cent, over budget and that VicRoads did not plan the program properly and won’t achieve its expected road safety benefits.

“Worryingly, the Auditor General found that VicRoads overestimated the efficacy of wire rope barriers which inflated cost benefit ratios - in other words VicRoads misused data from the Monash University Accident Research Centre to increase the justification for the roll out.

“The Auditor General also found there was no stakeholder engagement plan for the program which led to backflips, including VicRoads having to remove newly installed barriers on the Princes Highway East.

“Finally, it says the government is not adequately managing maintenance and repairs, increasing the risk safety barriers won’t work.

“This report highlights the waste and mismanagement of the project, which The Nationals have been calling out for some time.”

Mr O’Brien said it was clear the project had been botched on the Princes Highway east of Sale and he was now concerned about works on the South Gippsland Highway between Leongatha and Meeniyan.

“I have had complaints about the road surface as a result of safety treatments installed in the last year or so and I have raised those with the Minister for Roads.

“I have also previously written to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure highlighting the problems with the roll out of these barriers and urging them to be reviewed before they were installed on the new section of the South Gippsland Highway between Leongatha and Meeniyan.

“The Minister has rejected this out of hand but the Auditor General today confirms our fears.

“Labor has messed this program up. It has cost taxpayers money and not delivered the road safety outcomes we all want to see.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien is concerned at the botched roll out of wire rope barriers across Gippsland.  

 

18 June 2020

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