March 18, 2016  |  Adjournment matter

Adjournment – Newman Street-Keilor Road, Niddrie

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The action I seek is that the minister come out to my electorate to see the Newman Street and Keilor Road intersection and provide an updated time line on what VicRoads is doing to improve safety at this dangerous site. The intersection of Newman Street and Keilor Road, Niddrie, is a complex intersection which involves numerous traffic
flows in several directions, including vehicles entering and exiting the Calder Freeway. It is particularly dangerous due to the number of vehicles going in different directions which cross paths, often leading to collisions or at least to very near misses.

I have had a look at the open source data which the government provides to the public on crash statistics, and it provides a handy visualisation of the locations of the crashes across
Victoria since 2010. According to this data there have been approximately nine accidents requiring a police call‑out in the vicinity of this intersection, two of which involved serious injury — and this is just the accidents and incidents that have been recorded.

It is very commonplace for me to be driving from my electorate office on Keilor Road and see yet another car smashed up on the side of the road or glass scattered across the asphalt from another accident that has happened at this black spot. This issue has been ongoing for many years, and it has certainly been a priority of mine since I was elected the member for Niddrie in 2012.

In October 2014 I lodged a petition of almost 1000 signatures in this place calling on the then Minister for Roads to take action to improve the safety of the intersection. Since then I have met with the minister and VicRoads numerous times on this issue, and I have taken three consecutive VicRoads regional directors for a drive through this horror intersection. It is a very scary drive. I have constituents tell me they actively avoid it, and I know people who live on the street who cringe every time they hear a crash, thinking it could be a loved one that is hurt.

Following VicRoads’s advice, in September 2015 I emailed my constituents asking for qualitative feedback on their experiences at this intersection. I received 50 detailed responses from locals. All of this information was collated and forwarded to VicRoads
staff to be shared with its project team. I have also shared this information with the minister’s office.

In October we began the process of community consultation with locals, with a meeting at the Niddrie Community Hub on 26 October. This meeting was a great example of cooperation at several levels of government, with VicRoads providing a very valuable opportunity for residents to have their say and with Moonee Valley City Council also being at the table. More than 80 residents attended this information session. It was held in a world cafe format, allowing residents to rotate and have their say on a range of treatment options. The signalisation with traffic lights at both Newman Street and Keilor Road and Grange Road and Keilor Road intersections was by far the most popular option, and I have since met with VicRoads to discuss the next steps.

VicRoads is very keen for additional funds to be provided for a business case study for this project, and I would urge the minister to give this due consideration. We need to do this project once and do it properly, before the data shows not only serious injuries but a fatality at this site. I look forward to the minister coming out to my electorate to inspect the Keilor Road and Newman Street intersection at his earliest convenience.