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Federal Black Spot funding saves lives.



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JOINT RELEASE

SENATOR RON BOSWELL SENATOR WINSTON CRANE

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of the National Party in the Senate Senator for Queensland

Chair of the Western Australian Black Spot Consultative Panel Liberal Senator for Western Australia

27 April 2001 B25/2001

FEDERAL BLACK SPOT FUNDING SAVES LIVES

33 black spot sites throughout Western Australia will receive almost $2.8 million in funding for safety improvements under the Federal Government’s Black Spot Program, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Senator Ron Boswell and Liberal Senator Winston Crane jointly announced today.

Senator Crane added that an outstanding feature of this programme is that the money is split equally between country and city.

Senator Boswell said during today’s launch of Black Spot funding at the Willetton Library that this important federally funded initiative was all about improving safety on our roads and ultimately, saving lives and realising results quickly.

Chairman of the Western Australian Black Spot Consultative Panel, Senator Crane, said sites to receive funding range from the $300,000 works in Perth’s Hill street, Augusta -  Margaret River $120,000 roundabout, to almost $400,000 for paving and widening of Gantheaume Point in Broome Shire.

“Since the Program’s inception four years ago, more than $25 million has been made available to WA to improve the state’s worst crash sites,” he said.

Senator Boswell said the Federal Government will continue to provide funds to those road locations where there is objective analysis to support the spending of money at crash sites This is a proven measure for improving safety in a cost effective way.

“The Australian community pay an unacceptable price for its annual road toll - $15 billion per annum,” he said.

“This can and is being reduced by relatively low cost fixes at known hazardous road locations.

“By the year 2002, more than $228 million would be allocated to eliminate ‘Black Spots’ around the nation - with priority given to locations with a history of serious road accidents,” he said.

“Independent evaluation has shown that programs of this type are effective, reducing casualty crashes by about two-thirds at treated sites and returning savings to the community of about $4 for every $1 spent.

"Black Spot projects play a major part in a plan to further reduce Australia's national road toll.  This plan was released by the Australian Transport Council, which is made up of federal, state, territory and the New Zealand Transport Minister, late last year.  It provides comprehensive objectives and measures to reduce the fatality rate by 40 per cent by the year 2010" Senator Boswell said.

Sites nominated are assessed against criteria based on crash history, amenability to cost effective treatment, and their capacity to eliminate or substantially reduce crashes.

"The Federal Government places particular importance on community input into the site nomination process, and I urge local communities to continue nominating unsafe sections of road," Senator Crane said.

Senator Crane congratulated panel members for their assistance on recommending site proposals for funding.

“The process of analysis and the format of presentation by the Main Roads is superb and certainly makes our task very easy and very efficient. This is borne out by the fact that we rarely have a complaint or contradiction to the site chosen.” Black Spot Program information kits, including site nomination forms, are available on line at www.atsb.gov.au of by telephoning toll free 1800 - 026 - 349.

Media enquiries:

Senator Boswell’s office: Tom Chesson (07) 3001 8150 or 0417 225 176 Senator Crane's office: Mike Manning  (08) 9470 4442

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Friday, 27 April 2001