SENATOR THE HON BRIDGET MCKENZIE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
LEADER OF THE NATIONALS IN THE SENATE
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
TONY PASIN MP
MEMBER FOR BARKER
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT
12 October 2023
A STRONG COALITION FOR ROAD SAFETY
The Liberal Nationals Federal Coalition has a strong record on investing in road safety and is proud to stand with the nation’s peak motoring body, transport, health, insurance and engineering stakeholders as part of a strong coalition calling for national sharing of road safety and crash data.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the Albanese Labor Government needs to take strong action to address the rising road toll by investing in safer roads and forcing state and territory Labor governments to make publicly available road crash data.
“The Commonwealth provides billions in funding to the states and territories to help build, upgrade and maintain roads, often providing 50 or 80 per cent of the funding for major projects,” Senator McKenzie said.
“It is only fair and reasonable in return to require the states to share their road safety data, including data on serious accidents, to help inform national road safety programs and infrastructure investments.
“Labor has failed to prioritise road safety in its first 17 months in office, cutting road blackspot funds, abolishing road safety programs in the May budget, and putting life-saving projects on hold with its 90-day review.
“This lack of interest in safer roads is on full display with Labor’s terms of reference for the review of the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects focusing on decarbonising transport but silent on road safety,” Senator McKenzie said.
Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 sets out a commitment to reduce annual fatalities by at least 50 per cent by 2030. After years of declining road toll, Australian road deaths have risen significantly in the past 12 months, and the Strategy’s targets are well off track.
Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics data show Australia’s road deaths have increased 8.4 per cent over a 12 month period.
Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Tony Pasin MP said as a regional MP, road safety was consistently the number one topic of discussion in local communities who expected continued investment in the Australia’s road network, and an understanding of local road safety issues by those making investment decision in Canberra.
“It has been disappointing to see the current Government delay progress on data sharing to help inform investment decisions,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Coalition is in full support of calls from the Australian Automobile Association and its partners that reporting requirements should be made mandatory under the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects.
“To make matters worse, investment in road infrastructure has been put on pause while the Government reviews more than 400 projects under the Infrastructure Investment Program and redirects funding to Labor’s pet projects and stadiums in suburban areas.
“If Labor could show data to prove their funding redirection was aligning with road safety initiatives, it could be justified but without outcomes being achieved on a national data sharing with the states and territories, all we are left with is billions of dollars worth of inaction,” Mr Pasin said.
Senator McKenzie said accurate and consistent data is necessary to help inform future policy and investment into road safety to achieve the commitments outlined in the Strategy.
“Currently, the Commonwealth is unable to adequately quantify the extent of road trauma, or the effectiveness of funding for programs and treatments to reduce it, due to the lack of data to understand the actual causes of accidents occurring on our roads,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The Albanese Government needs to stand up to the state and territory Labor governments and demand road crash data be shared nationally and must release the outcomes of its 90-day review, now 165 days and counting, and inform communities which life-saving road projects Labor will be scrapping.”