The debate over highway wire barriers has continued with the National Party in Victoria pledging to halt their installation and redirect funds to “road safety measures on country roads”.
Lowan MP Emma Kealy MP said the opposition would, if it won the next election, also establish a working group of key affected stakeholders to look into how wire rope barriers could be better utilised to save lives.
“The Liberals and Nationals are not opposed to wire rope barriers when used strategically, but Labor’s rushed rollout is causing great concern for motorists across Victoria,” Ms Kealy said.
“The speed with which the project is being carried out... is resulting in barriers as close to 30 centimetres from the roadside when it is recommended they be placed a minimum of four meters from lanes.”
The wire barriers can be found on the outside of lanes in places along the Western Highway between Horsham, Stawell and Ararat and between lanes just outside Beaufort.
Liberal Party Ripon MP Louise Staley entered the debate this month when she posted a picture on Facebook of the space between the Western Highway’s shoulder and wire barriers.
“Over 109,000 people saw the post; 4811 reacted, including 2863 comments,” Ms Staley told parliament.
“Here is a flavour of them. John Munro of Ararat wrote: Shifting harvesters along these roads with wire barriers is bloody dangerous as there is not enough room to safely travel.”
“Dave Wainwright of Stawell wrote: More thought needs to be put into where they are installed.”
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said wire barriers were saving lives along the Western Highway.