Auditor scathing on Labor’s wire rope barrier rollout
19 June 2020
The Andrews Government’s wire rope barrier program won’t achieve its expected road safety benefits and is $100 million over budget.
They are the findings of a scathing Auditor-General’s report tabled in Parliament yesterday.
“While road surfaces across country Victoria crumble, the Andrews Government has thrown a staggering $550 million on rolling out wire rope barriers,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Auditor General’s report has confirmed that Labor did not plan the program properly and it won’t achieve its expected road safety benefits.
“There was no business case for the program and the Auditor General found the Andrews Government ‘does not have strong evidence’ to support the claim that wire rope barriers would reduce crashes by 85 per cent.
“Not only can the government not be sure whether it will achieve its intended benefits, but the report also finds that it doesn’t know whether the rollout of these barriers delivered the best value for the money spent.
“VicRoads overestimated the efficacy of wire rope barriers which inflated cost benefit ratios – in other words the government misused data from the Monash University Accident Research Centre to increase its justification for the roll out.
“The Auditor General also found there was no stakeholder engagement plan for the program which led to backflips in decision-making.
“Finally, it says the government is not adequately managing maintenance and repairs, increasing the risk safety barriers won’t work.
“These are all issues which we have been highlighting since the program began, but the response of Labor’s Roads Minister was to denigrate country Victorians by calling us “banjo-playing dingbats”.
Ms Ryan said the money should have instead been invested into upgrading failing country roads.
“The Andrews Government has blindly pursued this program despite concerns of emergency service personnel and country motorists,” Ms Ryan said.
“The half a billion that has been thrown at this program would have gone a very long way to improving deteriorating country roads.
“Labor has messed this program up. It has cost taxpayers money and not delivered the road safety outcomes we all want to see.”
Caption: Member for Euroa and Deputy Nationals leader Steph Ryan is concerned by the botched roll out of wire rope barriers across northern Victoria.