Rope barriers dangerous: MP

By Country News

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan has called for an investigation into the wire rope barriers project following the death of a young woman whose car hit a wire rope barrier on the Calder Fwy last month.

Ms Ryan told Victorian Parliament last week that a source with intimate knowledge of the wire rope barrier project raised concerns about the rollout, claiming it was rushed, didn’t meet safety standards and there were not enough people to inspect and supervise the works.

‘‘Thousands of people across Victoria believe the rollout of wire rope barriers 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 Ms Ryan called on Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan to halt the rollout.

‘‘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,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘Instead of investigating or agreeing to my request for the rollout to 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 Victorian Government to immediately halt the rollout of wire rope barriers 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.