Roads Minister ignores CFA concerns over wire rope barrier
20 February 2018
Roads Minster Luke Donnellan has today failed to acknowledge the concerns of local CFA brigades over the dangerous placement of wire rope barrier on regional highways.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan questioned the Minister in Parliament today over disparaging comments he has made about country Victorians with concerns about wire rope barrier.
The Nationals also questioned the Minister over reports from CFA brigades at Broadford and Elphingston who believe fires spread much further than they should have because poorly placed wire rope barriers prevented them from gaining access.
“Luke Donnellan continues to ignore the concerns of local brigades and vehemently defend his blanket rollout of wire rope barriers,” Ms Ryan said.
“He is treating country people like we are ignorant, or in his own words, ‘banjo playing dingbats’.
“These are legitimate concerns from volunteers with years of experience in dealing with fires on these roadsides.”
Ms Ryan said Broadford CFA captain Jamie Atkins had raised his concerns with her following a car fire on the Hume Fwy.
Mr Atkins said the fire should have been no more than a quarter acre fire but quickly spread to 10 acres after the brigade struggled to gain access.
“When we raised these concerns with the Minister in Question Time, he again refused to acknowledge them.”
Last week Ms Ryan joined Opposition Leader Matthew Guy to announce that the Liberals and Nationals would halt the rollout of wire rope barrier if elected in November.
Ms Ryan is circulating a petition calling on the government to take immediate action to redirect money from the rollout to country roads maintenance.
“More than 500 people signed the petition at the Seymour Expo on the weekend and momentum is growing,” Ms Ryan said.
“If Luke Donnellan really wants to save country lives he will start treating country people with respect by listening to the concerns and lived experiences of the people using these roads.”