Posted on 14. Mar, 2013 in Election Media Release

Premier Napthine has done an about-face and will introduce “super monster trucks” on suburban and regional roads putting local residents and road users safety at risk, Shadow Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said today.

Mr Donnellan said Mr Napthine, who termed the phrase “super monster trucks” in Parliament in 2010, had failed to ensure Victoria’s road network could handle such an increase in the size of trucks and had also failed to consult the community first.

“In Opposition both Mr Napthine and Roads Minister Terry Mulder put on the crocodile tears and opposed any increase in truck size on Victorian roads and called for community consultation prior to any expansion,” Mr Donnellan said.

“Both Mr Napthine and Mr Mulder have today proven they are hypocrites, expanding the use of larger trucks including b-doubles and road trains without community consultation.

“Trucking operators in the Premier’s own electorate have been screaming for potholed roads to be fixed and instead of fixing them the Napthine Government has stripped $100 million in road maintenance funding.

“Today we learn Mr Mulder will use spin to sell the expanded use of Mr Napthine’s ‘super monster trucks’ into local communities to ensure he avoids ‘getting picked off by individuals or single issues’ it was reported he told a freight industry forum earlier this week.

“The current Premier needs to stop the spin and come clean with each and every community that will be impacted by the use of his ‘super monster trucks’.

“Mr Napthine must explain what road upgrades will take place, what routes will be introduced and how much funding will be committed to not only upgrade these roads but to fix the ones that are already potholed and dangerous for motorists.”

Hansard February 3, 2010
Mr Napthine at page 135 the Victorian transport plan 2008 refers to the need to upgrade roads in the green triangle region to support the trial of larger, longer, heavier super monster trucks, as they are described; the big brothers of the B-doubles.

On 8 April 2009 the Minister for Roads and Ports put out a press release that says:
New road and rail freight links are key elements of the $340 million green triangle freight action plan …

The minister announced this freight action plan to facilitate these super monster trucks being put on roads in south-west Victoria, but in late 2009 the government announced a measly $5 million to upgrade south-western highways, not the $340 million that was promised. That will barely be enough to paint the white lines on our highways and roads in south-west Victoria. It will not be enough to fix the potholes, truck ruts and dangerous broken surfaces or widen the shoulders, let alone install passing lanes. Passing lanes are needed for basic road safety in south-western Victoria for truck drivers and other motorists using the roads, but they are
Page 156

absolutely essential if you are going to put super monster trucks on the roads.

Further, the cat has been let out of the bag. Page 41 of the annual statement of government intentions released yesterday says there will be no more funds. It says there will only be $5 million spent on those roads and not $340 million. Under the so-called plan we are going to get super monster trucks in the green triangle area on roads in south-west Victoria, putting local residents and road users at risk simply because this government has not matched its promise to introduce these larger, longer, heavier super monster trucks with its promise of $340 million to upgrade the roads and improve road safety in that area.
Hansard February 24, 2010 – Mr Napthine

Dr NAPTHINE (South-West Coast) –
Page 41 of the annual statement of government intentions refers to the green triangle freight action plan. It says:
The government has committed $5 million for road upgrades needed to allow longer B-doubles on selected routes …

However, the reality is that the green triangle freight action plan was launched in April last year with great fanfare by the Minister for Roads and Ports, and the first line of the press release says:

New road and rail freight links are key elements of the $340 million green triangle freight action plan …

Some $340 million was promised by the previous minister, but only $5 million was delivered.

That is not enough to paint the white lines on the roads in south-west Victoria. What we are getting out of the green triangle freight action plan under this government, which talks big and delivers little, are larger, longer and heavier monster trucks on our roads in south-west Victoria, with no money to upgrade the roads, no money to install passing lanes to make the roads safer for all road users, no money to fix the pot holes and no money to fix the dangerous surfaces.

Now we find, in a press release from the Minister for Roads and Ports on 15 February, that some of that $5 million is going to be used for works on the Portland-Casterton Road at Digby. It is no wonder that the local newspaper, the Portland Observer, said on 22 February:

There are indications the state government is preparing to extend its higher productivity freight vehicle trial to arterial roads such as the Casterton-Portland Road.
On 24 February it ran the heading ‘HPFV funding shifts sideways’. The truth is now coming out. These monster trucks will be unleashed not just on the initially designated roads but right across south-west Victoria — and they are coming to a road near you!

The government needs to come clean on its secret plan to unleash these monster trucks across the length and breadth of Victoria. It needs to come clean and deliver on its promise of $340 million to upgrade road and rail in the green triangle area. It needs to spend real dollars on fixing these roads rather than continuing to make false promises. The sort of roads that need to be fixed — and I am pleased the member for South Barwon is here — include the Princes Highway west. We need to duplicate it to Colac, we need more passing lanes to the South Australian border, we need to fix the dangerous and unsafe road surfaces, and we need to start planning duplication between Warrnambool and Port Fairy.

We need to fix the Henty Highway, the main route to the port of Portland. We need to fix the Portland-Nelson Road, and we need to know whether the government is going to put monster trucks on that road. We need to fix the Hopkins Highway. Recently there was a letter in the Warrnambool Standard from a former mayor of the Moyne Shire Council, Brenda Hampson, who described it as the worst and most unsafe road in Australia. We need to fix the Warrnambool-Caramut Road and the Woolsthorpe-Heywood Road. These are all arterial roads and highways which are the direct responsibility of the state government, and they have

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