Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
One of the reasons flexible steel guard rail is being installed on the Princes Highway between Sale and Bairnsdale is because that’s what “was preferred by the community”, according to Roads Minister, Jaala Pulford.
In responding to a question in Parliament from Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, asking why was steel guard rail being installed when community information sessions suggested it would be wire rope barrier, the Minister’s written response states:
“Flexible steel guard fence was selected on the Princes Highway East between Sale and Bairnsdale in consideration of the following:
• during the early community engagement Regional Roads Victoria received feedback that the flexible steel guard fence was preferred by the community.”
“Having attended two of those sessions, the data all referred to the barriers being wire rope and I cannot recall any such requests being made by the community, so can only assume that if it exists, it was submitted on line,” said Mr Bull.
“I will now ask the Minister to provide me with copies of these submissions requesting steel rail.”
Mr Bull said the aggressive response from the Minister accused him of undermining the project for “cheap political gain” and that the Opposition has a “crusade against life-saving safety barriers”.
“This could not be further from the truth and is disrespectful to the people of the region who have raised these questions with me and want them answered,” said Mr Bull.
“Throughout this entire process, I have repeatedly said – and will say again – I am not opposed to safety barriers, but want them to be installed in the right locations and with proper community consultation and not a blanket roll out. That has not occurred on this occasion.
“For instance, if the original plan was right, why has the government considerably altered its plans to not install roadside barriers along 25kms that was originally planned to have them – and why are they removing barriers in some locations where they have been installed?
“On top of this, Regional Roads Victoria has admitted its community consultations ‘could have been done better’.”
Caption: Tim Bull MP inspecting the steel guard rail installed on the Princes Highway