By Aaron Cordy
ROAD Safe Goulburn Valley (RSGV) hosted a roundtable discussion last Friday as part of their AGM to address the state of the abhorrent roads across regional Victoria and the spike in the road toll last year. While accidents and deaths are up in regional Victoria there doesn’t seem to be an easy answer to the problem.
Representatives of Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Members of the Nationals, City of Great Shepparton, Mitchell Shire, One Nation, and The Unbreakable Farmer, Warren Davies join the RSGV. To discuss the issues of our roads.
While they see the roads as a clear problem, and the road toll has risen, Sgt Emma Moloney of Victoria Police didn’t believe the poor roads were the direct cause of the deaths, and still attributed most deaths to drivers doing the wrong thing.
Danny O’Brien – Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety, talked about the state of repairs that don’t fix roads long-term.
“The answer is it depends, and that’s the best I’ve gotten from local government,” said Mr O’Brien.
“Generally speaking, yes, there are standards set in a contract. If the contractor doesn’t deliver the roads to that standard, it’s their job to make it right. But that’s not always straightforward.”
“What’s interesting, I guess, today hearing from RSGV. And as I’ve said, the issues that are causing the rise in fatalities clearly always had been speeding, drunk driving. But increasingly people are mentioning to me the state of the roads themselves contributing not just to fatalities but to accidents more broadly.”
National Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, knows the effect this has on the community.
“We saw 174 lives lost on regional roads in 2023, with shockingly 50 of those lives lost in the Goulburn Valley region – 28 lives lost in Murrindindi Shire, six in Strathbogie Shire, 13 in Moira Shire, and four in Mitchell Shire,” said Ms Cleeland.
“The sheer number of lives lost has been devastating, but we must never forget that these are not just numbers but people whose families, friends, and communities will mourn their loss for years to come.”