Gippsland South The Nationals Roads Country Roads

Wire rope funding to be redirected to country roads

An elected Liberals and Nationals government will suspend the blanket rollout of wire rope barrier and redirect funds toward road safety measures on country roads.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the Liberals and Nationals would also establish a working group to look into how wire rope barriers could be used more strategically to save lives.

“If used strategically, wire rope barriers can save lives, but Labor’s rushed rollout is driving local motorists mad,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The speed with which the latest program is being rolled out has raised questions about where the barriers are installed on the roadside with some barriers much closer to the white line than the recommended minimum of 4 meters from lanes. People are concerned about safety if they have to pull over.

“Gippsland emergency service workers have expressed concern about how much of a hindrance the barriers could be in fire situations or for ambulance access, particularly in areas where there are not enough breaks in the barrier to allow access.

“It is exasperating to watch the out-of-touch Andrews Labor Government spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars on this when the road surface itself is in desperate need of repair.”

Mr O’Brien said he and his Nationals and Liberals colleagues were not opposed to wire rope barriers when used strategically.

“In government we oversaw the successful installation of barriers in areas where there was clear evidence it would save lives,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The safety benefits of wire rope barriers are indisputable when they are used in a strategic way, but Labor has taken this project and aggressively expanded the rollout with little consideration of where the barriers are being placed. This includes doubling up on the inside of dual carriageways which surely is overkill.

“We will suspend Labor’s careless rollout and establish a working group which will include key affected stakeholders to determine the manner and extent of any future implementation of barriers.

“Importantly, the money being used to fund the current rollout will be immediately redirected towards other country road safety measures.”

Last week in Parliament, Mr O’Brien called on the Andrews Labor Government to investigate the role of new centre line safety barriers after a truck accident that occurred near Sale.

“I called on the government to undertake a full investigation because there is serious concern about whether this new centre-line barrier was in fact part of the problem rather than part of the solution with this accident,” Mr O’Brien said.

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