More questions than answers on wire rope barriers

Under questioning at PAEC on Thursday, Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll couldn’t answer basic questions about the maintenance of wire rope barriers.

When asked how much was spent fixing damaged barriers last year, the Minister couldn’t provide an answer.

When asked what length of barriers he expected would need to be repaired in the coming 12 months, he couldn’t provide an answer.

Department officials at the hearings also couldn’t provide answers to these most basic of questions.

The only answer the Minister could provide was how many kilometres of new barriers would be rolled out in the coming year – another 168 kilometres.

The Minster’s responses were flimsier than a damaged wire rope barrier and leave more questions than answers about how much money is spent repairing barriers rather than fixing roads.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Brad Battin:

“The Andrews Labor Government was slammed by the Auditor-General during his review into the wire rope safety barrier rollout. Clearly, nothing has been done to address the Auditor-General’s findings.

“They can’t say where the maintenance funding comes from. They don’t know which barriers need to be repaired. They have no structured maintenance program.

“These barriers only work if they are adequately maintained. Inaction from the Andrews Labor Government could cost lives.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell:

“At the last round of PACEC hearings, we learnt that money that should be used fixing roads was being spent fixing barriers, but no figure could be provided.

“A year later, we are still none the wiser.

“These are basic questions that regional Victorians - who are sick of driving on potholed roads while fenced in by shiny new barriers – want answers to, but the Minster is refusing to provide them.”

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