An Opposition amendment to the Road Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 that would have re-established the Victorian Parliament’s Road Safety Committee, was yesterday defeated by 16 votes to 16, ironically thanks to two votes from the Justice Party and Animal Justice Party’s Andy Meddick.
Tragically, far too many Victorians die as a result of traffic accidents on our country roads, with the Andrews Labor Government refusing to acknowledge the role poor road conditions play.
To midnight 11 May, 55 lives have been lost on Victorian country roads so far in 2022, up a concerning 38 per cent over the same period last year.
Victorian Liberals and Nationals MPs are only too aware of the alarming and unacceptable death toll and vocal in their advocacy for safer country roads.
Deputy Nationals Leader and Shadow Minister for Roads, Steph Ryan said the voting record of minor party regional MPs were a betrayal of their constituents.
“Last night, Tania Maxwell, Stuart Grimley and Andy Meddick have utterly betrayed their constituents, by voting to block enhanced parliamentary oversight and scrutiny of Daniel Andrews’ shameful neglect of country roads,” Ms Ryan said.
“No regional member of Parliament can honestly stand up in Parliament and say their constituents think regional roads are safe and up to scratch.
“To vote down the reinstatement of a committee dedicated to driving down the road toll and fixing regional roads is a blight on any member’s record.
“Regional Victorians are watching our road network crumble before their eyes, while the Andrews Government cuts funding and fails to meet performance targets.”
Ms Ryan again raised the wasteful spending of the Andrews Government and the impact this was having on regional communities.
“The Andrews Government has proudly watched $28 billion of taxpayers’ money head down the drain on city infrastructure cost blowouts while our regions are pleading for just a fraction of that to be invested in the road network,” Ms Ryan said.
“This year’s budget saw cuts to road management, a decline in regional roads being treated and cuts across the board to agriculture and regional development.
“Country MPs should be backing their communities rather than siding with a completely out of touch, tired and city-centric government that is a drag on Victoria’s yearning to recover and rebuild.”