Ryan calls for government review of wire rope barrier after crash

07 February 2018

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has called on the Premier and Roads Minister to investigate the wire rope barriers project following the tragic death of a young woman whose car hit a wire rope barrier on the Calder Freeway last week.

In Parliament today, Ms Ryan said following the accident an insider with intimate knowledge of the wire rope barrier project had raised extremely serious concerns that the rushed rollout has resulted in projects which don’t meet safety standards and that there aren’t enough people to inspect and supervise the works.

“Thousands of people across Victoria believe the r­­­ollout of wire rope barrier is making our roads more dangerous,” Ms Ryan said.

“I am urging the Premier and the Roads Minister to halt the rollout until these concerns and last week’s awful accident can be investigated by authorities.

“The information passed to me alleges the wire rope barrier was installed behind a fixed rail W-beam, which caused the car to slide along the rope barrier and into the end of the rail barrier. This is a serious and alarming allegation which warrants an immediate and thorough investigation.  

“In December I stood in Parliament and asked Luke Donnellan to halt the rollout of wire rope barrier until fears about its safety could be investigated and in January I wrote to the Minister to again convey my concerns,” Ms Ryan said.

“These aren’t just my own concerns; they also come from emergency services workers, farmers and road transport industry workers, as well as motorists an­­d motorbike riders.

CFA assistant chief officer Trevor Owen has also gone public with his concerns stating ‘Treating one safety risk can create another. Long distance wire rope barriers along our major roads will have a consequence on firefighter safety and delay access to fires in some cases along road sides’.

“Instead of investigating or agreeing to my request for the rollout be halted, the Minister’s only response has been to label country people raising their concerns about these barriers ‘banjo playing conspiracy theorists’ and ‘dingbats’.”

Ms Ryan has launched a petition which will be tabled in Parliament calling on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately halt the rollout of wire rope barrier until safety issues have been addressed and a more strategic approach for barrier placement can be adopted.

“I am not opposed to the strategic placement of these barriers in places where they will be most effective. I am however vehemently opposed to a blanket rollout which jeopardises community safety,” Ms Ryan said.

Click here to download the petition. 

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