My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Road Safety, Jaala Pulford and it relates to the Great Ocean Road.
Western Victoria houses some of the nation’s most beautiful roads, including of course the Great Ocean Road.
While these roads are beautiful, they are equally dangerous. The 242km Great Ocean Road recently celebrated its one hundredth birthday and is unfortunately a victim of its own success.
Growing interest from tourists at home and abroad continues to place increasing pressures on the scenic road. In the year ending March 2019, the Great Ocean Road itself was experienced by over 6 million people who collectively spent $1.4bn during their travels. Despite the need for higher tourist spending per capita in seasonal townships, the economic importance of this road should be reflected in the funding it receives for safety upgrades and overall maintenance.
Not only is the Great Ocean Road one of the States’ most popular tourist destinations, it is also used by 24,000 people who rely on it for essential transport infrastructure, including emergency services access.
In a recent letter to its members, the RACV said that it welcomed moves to establish a single authority to manage the repair and preservation of the road but urges swift action in order to avoid further deterioration.
I personally welcome the establishment of the Great Ocean Road Authority in the near future to streamline the management of the road, as it currently faces constant bureaucratic issues due to the many agencies and councils which manage it.
Local MPs and Federal MPs alike have been advocating for more signage for international tourists for years but we’re yet to see significant changes to physically making this road safer for tourists and locals.
Therefore, the action that I seek is for the Minister to clarify what safety measures and engineering solutions are currently being considered by the Andrews Government in order to ensure that the nation’s most beautiful road is also the nations safest road.