The Opposition has welcomed new funds announced by the Federal Government into the Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program and called on the State Government to commit funds in the upcoming State Budget.
Opposition Leader Mia Davies said the $180.1m allocation over five years in the Federal Budget would kickstart the improvements needed at passive rail crossings across the nation.
“The Regional Australia Level Crossing Safety Program announced is recognition there is work to be done to improve safety outcomes where country rail and roads intersect,” Ms Davies said.
“The $160m allocated is for upgrades to level crossings includes adding boom gates, flashing lights, improved signage and road rumble strips.
“We also welcome the $2m for risk assessments, knowing that there will be more investment required down the track.”
Ms Davies said the upcoming State Budget would be the perfect time for the McGowan Government to co-invest and show their commitment to improving regional rail and road safety outcomes.
“This Government is about to return a massive budget surplus, there’s no better time to commit to a program that will ultimately save lives,” Ms Davies said.
Shadow Transport Minister Shane Love said the results of a long-awaited review by the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation (ACRI) found 30 ways to improve train visibility nation-wide.
“While the project findings are welcomed, the consideration of more trials will mean further delays to implementing the measures the impacted families have been campaigning for,” Mr Love said.
“We hope the $5 million investment into research and trials of new level crossing technologies and safety measures by the Federal Government will fast-track these considerations.”
Mr Love said with the State Budget just around the corner, now would be the right time for the McGowan Government to show compassion and invest in a scheme that will save Australian lives.
“We want to ensure no other family experiences the grief of losing loved ones at rail crossings.”
There are 23,500 rail crossings across Australia, 79 percent of which are considered passive.