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Minister tries to cover his tracks on Avenel crossing

24 January 2017

The safety of Avenel’s Bank St rail crossing is again under the spotlight after Member for Euroa Steph Ryan raised the issue in Parliament recently.

Ms Ryan joined local residents including Strathbogie Shire councillor Malcolm Little and Avenel shopkeepers this morning to call on the Andrews Government to address the community’s safety concerns.

“The crossing has boom gates but the three-way intersection of the Avenel-Longwood Rd, Queen St and Bank St at the crossing is a mishmash,” Ms Ryan said.

“It is confusing, poorly signed and is a hazard to drivers, particularly those who are unfamiliar with the area.”

Ms Ryan said The Nationals and Liberals had pledged $20 million to make level crossings in rural Victoria safer.

“Safety on regional roads is a priority for The Nationals. While billions of dollars are being spent in the city to remove level crossings, country intersections like this one are being ignored under Daniel Andrews,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan accused Roads Minister Luke Donnellan of trying to backtrack from his promise before the last election to improve safety at the crossing.

“During the 2014 election campaign, Mr Donnellan visited the intersection with Labor's candidate and said he was supportive of safety improvements being made.

“At the time of his visit he said that safety improvements would largely be the responsibility of the Roads Minister and VicRoads to work out.

“He has now had two years as Minister but he seems to have forgotten that he was once concerned about the intersection.

“After raising community expectations, Mr Donnellan should make good on his promise to make the intersection safer,” Ms Ryan said.

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