December 12, 2012  |  Adjournment

Buninyong Primary School: crossing safety

I raise a matter for the attention of Minister for Public Transport relating to safety issues associated with traffic flow through Buninyong. I specifically ask the minister to take immediate steps to have flashing speed limit signs erected on the Midland Highway ahead of the school crossing on the Buninyong hill. The minister may recall that I raised this matter with him in March last year. I advised the minister then that many Buninyong Primary School community members and concerned residents had expressed to me their concerns about safety issues, especially for students of the school but also for other community members who attempt to cross the Midland Highway in the Buninyong area, either at the school crossing or further down the hill at the shopping centre. I add that the Buninyong Progress Association has been active in raising these issues and is keenly awaiting a traffic safety report for the town, which the regional manager of VicRoads has committed to producing. 

Following my sending a letter to the minister last year, I received a response from the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Mr O’Donohue, a member for Eastern Victoria Region in the Council, advising that although VicRoads had placed flashing speed limit speed signs on the Midland Highway ahead of the school crossing near Magpie Primary School, similar signs could not be placed ahead of the Buninyong crossing as the policy guidelines had changed and only applied in situations where schools actually abutted the highway. Mr O’Donohue advised that the matter was under review pending the completion of a year-long trial of remote crossing speed zones at some Melbourne schools. I note that the trial should have been completed early this year, and I am confident that it would have demonstrated great benefits in relation to the school crossings such as the Buninyong crossing. 

I further add that if the minister is yet to be convinced, I would welcome a visit by him to Buninyong where he could meet with residents, representatives of the school community and me to hear of their concerns and see for himself the roadway as you come down the hill into Buninyong. I, along with many members of the Buninyong Primary School and the broader community, look forward to a prompt response to this renewed call for action. I also ask for the minister’s support in ensuring that the promised traffic safety plan for Buninyong is released as soon as possible, that appropriate community consultation takes place and that real action follows. I look forward to the minister’s response on this important issue.