Failed wire rope barrier rollout
State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish is exasperated by the Victorian Labor Government’s deeply flawed rollout of wire rope barriers across the state.
The highly controversial barriers were the subject of a damning Auditor-General’s report that showed the project is full of misleading figures and false facts.
Ms McLeish said, “I have no doubt that locals will not be at all surprised by the report. The flawed ration
ale for the project, flawed selection of installation sites and flawed management shows how little effort and planning the Labor Government put into this project.”
The report also reveals the Labor Government’s rollout will exceed the estimated budget cost by $100 million.
Ms McLeish continues, “That comes as no surprise as the budget for demonstration barriers on the Melba Highway blew out from an expected $350,000 to $505,000. The true cost of the Goulburn Valley Highway installations was never released.”
“The wire rope barrier rollout is just another example of the city centric Labor Government’s poor treatment of regional Victoria. They invested works in the wrong places, failed to locate hotspots and failed to consider views from Emergency Services. They have not addressed the urgent need for highway improvements including overtaking and turning lanes.”
“The installation of rope barriers has been a concern amongst the community for years. The barriers between Yea and Molesworth were the first in the state and were a constant subject of complaint.”
Barriers were installed along 20 of the most dangerous highways in Victoria, however many of them are placed in low-risk areas. The lack of stakeholder consultation was also the subject of criticism.
The Labor Government failed to provide comparative barrier options, leaving flexible barriers as the only solution. There is no adequate evidence to support their claim that wire rope barriers will reduce car accidents by 85 per cent. The Auditor-General reported the car crash reduction figures are closer to 56 per cent.
Additionally, the report shows barrier locations have not been accurately recorded on these dangerous highways, nor the points of emergency service access. There is no record kept of how often flexible barriers are maintained and no timeliness standard for repairs. This hinders the ability to evaluate the effectiveness of the barriers and the location of the barriers in time of emergency.
Ms McLeish continues, “The State Labor Government are throwing around taxpayers money installing these barriers and then forgetting where they’ve installed them – truly extraordinary.”
“The Auditor-General’s report reveals how little the State Labor Government care about regional Victoria. The data revealed in this report doesn’t do the project any favours,” Ms McLeish concludes.