News

Wire rope barrier program over-sold and over-budget, according to report

By Jamie Salter

The Victorian Government’s wire rope barrier program will not achieve its expected road safety benefits, and is $100 million over budget.

These were the findings of the auditor-general’s report tabled in parliament on June 18.

The report found VicRoads did not sufficiently plan its flexible barrier installation projects under the Top 20 program — road safety projects to be delivered to 20 of Victoria’s highest-risk rural roads.

“As a result, it is likely to spend at least 22 per cent more installing the barriers than it originally budgeted for,” the report said.

“Additionally, it has failed to properly maintain and monitor the barriers it installed, which increases the risk that they will not perform as intended.”

Victorian Nationals deputy leader and State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said $550 million was "wasted" on wire rope barriers, rather than being used on Victoria's roads.

“The auditor-general’s report has confirmed that Labor did not plan the program properly and it won’t achieve its expected road safety benefits,” Ms Ryan said.

“There was no business case for the program and the auditor-general found the Victorian Government "does not have strong evidence" to support the claim that wire rope barriers would reduce crashes by 85 per cent.

“Not only can the government not be sure whether it will achieve its intended benefits, but the report also finds that it doesn’t know whether the rollout of these barriers delivered the best value for the money spent,” Ms Ryan said.

“The auditor-general also found there was no stakeholder engagement plan for the program which led to backflips in decision-making.”

To read the report, visit: audit.vic.gov.au/report/safety-victorias-roads-regional-road-barriers