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ROAD SAFETY PACKAGE FINALLY FEATURES IN BUDGET

April 03, 2019


 

SENATOR GLENN STERLE
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR ROAD SAFETY
LABOR SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA

ROAD SAFETY PACKAGE FINALLY FEATURES IN BUDGET
  

In its Budget last night, the Government formally committed to establish a National Office of Road Safety – a body which was abolished by former Prime Minister John Howard.
 
Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety Senator Glenn Sterle has welcomed this decision but has said that its time the Government stops playing catch up with Road Safety and gets serious with its announcements.
 
“The investment in Road Safety measures in the 2019-20 Federal Budget has shown that the Morrison Government finally acknowledges the fact that more needs to be done to improve Road Safety outcomes for all Australians,” said Senator Sterle.
 
“It also begs the question as to why the National Office of Road Safety was abolished in the first place. Road crashes cost the national economy about $30 billion a year. During the 12 months prior to the end of February 2019, there were 1,172 road deaths on Australian roads. There were 93 deaths on our roads in February alone. More needs to be done to address this crisis. Re-establishing the National Office of Road Safety is a good start,” said Senator Sterle.
 
“But this is the first time we are getting details on solid commitments from the Government on Road Safety. Labor however, began outlining our policies for Road Safety more than 4 months ago.  
 
“On the 17th of December 2018, I was extremely proud to announce at the National Conference of the Australian Labor Party in Adelaide that a Shorten Labor Government would re-establish a National Office of Road Safety – after the Howard Liberal Government abolished it. We announced that if elected, a Shorten Labor Government would ensure that the national safety standards applying to motor vehicles are up to date and fit for purpose. A Shorten Labor Government will also amend the Australian Design Rules to mandate proven vehicle safety technologies in new vehicles. We also announced our commitment to legislate safe and sustainable rates for truck drivers.
 
“As far as the Government’s announcements go, there is a very real difference between what the Government says on Budget night and what actually happens on the ground thereafter. For example, between the 2014-15 and 2018-19 financial years, there has been a $100million underspend through the Black Spot Program and a $134.1million underspend in the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
 
“The Government needs to ensure that this sort of underspending will not happen with the announcements made for Road Safety in the 2019-20 Budget.
 
“The Labor Party is committed to improving Road Safety outcomes and has demonstrated that by the policies that we have already announced,” said Senator Sterle, Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety.
 
 
WEDNESDAY, 3 APRIL 2019


 

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