Our state’s road toll is staggering and heartbreaking: 90 deaths in just 100 days this year.
This is a 55 per cent increase from the same time last year.
Shockingly, 59 of these deaths have been on rural roads – that’s a 90 per cent increase in rural road fatalities from last year.
There’s a crisis on our roads that can’t be ignored.
These statistics tell a tragic tale. They also paint a picture of negligence, under investment and mismanagement. The State Government has a case to answer.
The Labor government invested $1 billion in its Toward Zero Policy, announced in 2016. The investment aimed to reduce to the road toll to 200 deaths or fewer each year by 2020.
But this year, a record number of families will grieve the loss of a loved one killed needlessly on our roads. Despite the hype and glossary brochures, we are seeing a sharp escalation in the road toll under Labor’s watch.
We can’t reduce the road toll without addressing the condition and management of our state-controlled roads which is woefully inadequate.
Labor has failed taxpayers and commuters – and an independent review by the Auditor-General lays these failings bare.
A government’s priorities are evidenced by where and how it chooses to spend money.
An Auditor-General’s Report examining our state-controlled roads reveals that funding is ‘insufficient’.
It has not been indexed, and has in fact been decreasing since 2010-11. This includes a reduction in road maintenance funding of about 60 per cent (despite a nearly 10 per cent increase in road traffic).
Funding is not just inadequate – it’s poorly utilised. The Government employs a disastrous policy of ‘worst-first’. Instead of spending 30c per kilometre on routine maintenance, it spends $70-$175 per square metre on road rehabilitation.
According to the Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell, our road toll is appalling and devastating.
“Our road toll is spiralling out of control under Labor’s watch”, Mrs Britnell said.
“You can’t reduce the road toll without being willing to invest in safe and properly maintained roads.”
“If it’s serious about saving lives, the Andrews Government must address the gaping inadequacies in its approach to road maintenance and planning, identified by the Auditor-General” Mrs Britnell said.