Danny O’BRIEN (Gippsland South) (17:11): (423) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, and the action I seek is for the minister to finally provide the funds to fix the South Gippsland Highway. Members on this side could list 100 other roads – 100 other highways – throughout the state, but this one is absolutely doing my head in, given the minister specifically raised it in question time yesterday and said that she is actually spending some money. I would like to know what it is on, because this issue is an absolute disgrace. This is meant to be an A-class road and meant to be 100 kilometres an hour, and I have got a 5-kilometre section now between Stony Creek and Foster North that literally –
Richard Riordan interjected.
Danny O’BRIEN: No, it is not 80 kilometres, member for Polwarth. It goes 100, then 60, then 100 again. As of today it goes 60 in another section, back to 100 and then to 80. It is an absolute disgrace that an A-class highway in this state is in such bad condition. I should add: none of those speed limits are changed for any other reason than the poor surface of the road, and the signs have gone up to actually say that.
A member interjected.
Danny O’BRIEN: Indeed – no roadworks. One of the sections where it is 80 has an ‘80’ sign on one side for ‘Safety issues ahead’. On the back it said ‘100 Roadworks ended’ – but there actually are not any roadworks going on. What I want to know from the minister is: is the money that she announced yesterday just going to more signs, reducing the speed limit on this road, or is the government actually going to fix it? I wrote to the minister in June this year about the section at Foster North, where it is not potholes, it is not rutting and it is not cracking – the road surface itself has become so worn and smooth that the department itself, in the minister’s response, calls it ‘polished’. Truckies are ringing me and ringing the department and saying this is a polished road going up a hill; they are losing grip. I do not know about anyone else, but if a truck is going up a hill and starts to lose grip, I do not think that is going to be a good safety outcome – not to make light of it at all, because in August a motorcycle police officer actually came off his bike and was quite seriously injured in this area.
We had the minister spouting yesterday that we are spending $770 million on road maintenance this year. Funnily enough, when I actually asked her a question on notice – ‘How do you give us that breakdown?’ – she could not give me a breakdown. Do you know what the answers are? The answers are in budget paper 3 and budget paper 4. Let us go a little bit further. It says this also includes funding from previous budgets. So the notion that there is not a cut to the road maintenance budget is wrong. The minister needs to stop putting up speed reduction signs and actually fix the bloody roads.
The SPEAKER: Member for Gippsland South, you know that was unparliamentary language.
Danny O’BRIEN: I apologise, Speaker.
The SPEAKER: Thank you.