To me, there's nothing more important than making sure our kids, our parents, the people we love,get home safely.
Because after nearly two years in this job, I know that every time we lose a life on our roads, another family is left heartbroken. It's why, since we came to government, we've set to work - making sure our roads are up to scratch, tackling congestion and doing everything we can to reduce death and injuries on our road.
It's a serious issue, and it deserves our genuine commitment. It's why I was so disappointed to see that the Liberal-Nationals continue to make false claims about
regional road funding. The truth is, the former Liberal Government cut $100 million from the VicRoads maintenance budget.
I could be here all day describing all the times they let our roads and bridges fall into disrepair. But I won't. I understand when something is this important, people don't care about political point scoring. Not when their safety and livelihoods are on the line.
So, let's talk facts - we are spending $130 million on road surface replacement and repairs across Victoria, with the majority of this work taking place on regional roads.
We're also getting on with planning and preconstruction works on the Western Highway between Ararat and Stawell, allocating $10 million so far, while we work with the Federal Government to move to the next stage. We are not waiting - the upgrade to this Highway is too important. We also promised that we would lease the Port of Melbourne, while ensuring our regional and rural communities get the support and funding they need.
Which is why more than $970 million will flow to regional and rural Victoria following the lease, in addition to a $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund that will wholly benefit the agriculture sector - allowing for quicker access from paddock to port. We'll invest in projects and programs that create local jobs and provide the best value for money, and value for the community.
And that's exactly what we're doing. For farmers who rely on these roads for their livelihood, for parents who use them to take their kids to school, and for every local driver, it'll make all the difference. As always, the safety of drivers and their families is my number one priority.
Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads and Road Safety
Most of us drive to get around, but every trip involves a walk. For older people, walking may be their main form of transport. so it's important we look out for people on the street; especially seniors.Victoria Walks, funded by VicHealth, commissioned the report, Safer Road Design for Older Pedestrians with the support of a TAC community road safety grant. It found 39 per cent of people who die while walking on our roads are aged 65 and over, yet this age group is only 15 per cent of the population.
The research showed that drivers should have given way in at least 72 per cent of crashes involving older pedestrians at traffic lights and 42 per cent of crashes at other intersections. Very disturbing is the number of older people being hit on footpaths, precisely where they should feel safest when walking. At least 16 per cent of crashes involving older pedestrians occur while they cross over driveways or entrances to car parks. Victoria Walks is appealing to all drivers and riders to take greater care and to watch out for elderly walkers in particular.
We ask drivers to go slowly in and out of driveways so they can give way to people on the footpath. And please give way to people crossing the road when you are turning. It's not only the considerate thing to do, it is a legal requirement.As drivers, we need to take care of walkers, especially older people because when they are hit, even at slow speeds, many never fully recover.
Dr Ben Rossiter, executive officer, Victoria Walks Melbourne
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