Roads Road safety Wire rope barriers

Labor Minister labels country Victorians ‘banjo playing dingbats’

24 January 2018

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan says country people who have concerns about Labor’s rollout of wire rope barriers are “dingbats”.

While announcing a further $42 million for wire rope barrier yesterday, Mr Donnellan was asked about concerns locals had raised. In response Mr Donnellan said: “so people can go around playing banjos, playing conspiracy theories, rubbish like that, they need to actually deal with the facts and figures.”

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has condemned the comments as disrespectful.

“Luke Donnellan has shown how completely out of touch he is with people living outside of Melbourne,” Ms Ryan said.

“This kind of behaviour from a senior Cabinet Minister is true to form for Daniel Andrews’ government.

“Under Daniel Andrews, when someone doesn’t agree with Labor policy, they are ridiculed or bullied.

“These are the facts: longstanding CFA volunteers are concerned about emergency access, farmers are concerned they won’t be able to safely move machinery and many motorists are concerned the wire rope barrier doesn’t give enough room to pull off to the side of the road in the event a car is forced to stop on the side of the road.

“That Luke Donnellan wants to label anyone raising those concerns as ‘dingbats’ is disgraceful.”

Ms Ryan has repeatedly called for the government to halt the rollout until local communities have input.

“All we want is for the government to engage with local communities about how and where wire rope barriers should be used,” Ms Ryan said.

“The fact that the Minister won’t engage in that conversation and ridicules anyone who has the guts to raise a counter opinion is a sad reflection of the attitude of Daniel Andrews and his government.”

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