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Member for Western Victorian Region, Bev McArthur MP today drew attention to the inadequate response of the Andrews Government to Victoria's soaring road toll.

New figures released by the Transport Accident Commission details that as of the 1st of July 2019, the state's road toll has climbed to a disastrous 156 deaths, a significant increase of 56% in comparison to the 100 deaths on Victorian roads at this time in 2018. In response the Andrews Government will form the 'Road Safe Victoria' office in August, merging experts from VicRoads and the Department of Transport.

In response Mrs McArthur said: "Instead of creating a new QANGO with well remunerated bureaucrats why not spend taxpayer's money on building better roads and properly repairing existing roads." Mrs McArthur offered the example the crumbling Geelong Freeway which for a relatively new major road construction has clearly failed any quality roadbuilding criteria.

Mrs McArthur said: "over one billion dollars has been spent by this Government on wire rope barriers alongside a massive repair bill coming out of VicRoads budget. Meanwhile the road toll gets worse." "Money spent on this questionable road safety initiative would be far better spent on road works," she said.

Following a constituency question in parliament, Bev McArthur MP has repeatedly requested the Andrews Government match the Federal Government's commitment of $140m to fix and upgrade roads in the Western Victoria Region.

Mrs McArthur echoed a report released by the Auditor-General which established that "the increasing proportion of the state road network in very poor condition presents a growing risk to public safety and increases road user costs."

Similarly, Mrs McArthur condemned the State Government for its ineffective response towards foreign motorists. "The International driver issue is not being seriously addressed by Government," she said. Indeed, recently revealed VicRoads data for the Great Ocean Road that shows that 20% of crashes involve international drivers, a conservative estimate given this data only includes the incidents where ambulances were called.

“A new bureaucracy with a new office won’t stem the road toll but better roads might," she said.

2 July 2019