GIPPSLAND South MP Danny O’Brien has raised concern about the placement of new wire rope safety barriers on key Gippsland roads including the Princes and South Gippsland highways.
Mr O’Brien said he was concerned that barriers on some sections of the road were too close to the carriageway and didn’t allow enough room for vehicles to pull over in an emergency.
He was commenting after last week Minister for Road Safety, Luke Donnellan attacked anyone who questioned the rollout of wire rope barriers as “banjo playing dingbats”.
“I have no doubt these barriers do save lives but that doesn’t mean that their rollout can’t be questioned,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Instead of calling names the Minister should listen to experienced emergency service officers, including Gippsland’s CFA assistant chief officer, who has raised concerns about access to the side of the road where barriers are installed.
“I’ve had numerous people contact me with their concerns about where the barriers are and I’m concerned that in some places they are too close to the road and cause a hazard for drivers who have to pull over to the side.
“In particular, there are some parts of the new duplicated stretch of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale where this is the case and the government needs to answer these concerns.”
Mr O’Brien has written to the Minister on behalf of a number of constituents who are angry at seeing these barriers built while the road surface itself remains poor.
“We’ve already seen school bus drivers, CFA brigades and other motorists locally raise their concerns and instead of addressing those concerns, all the Minister can do is throw mud.
“There are tens of millions of dollars being spent on these barriers and the least the government could do is explain them better and ensure that they are placed along the road in a manner that doesn’t restrict motorists that need to get off the road in emergencies.”