Monday, June 17, 2024

Moira Shire to receive road safety funding after horror year

The Victorian Shire of Moira is set to receive up to $130,000 in funding to improve local road safety after a tragic year on the region’s roads, the Victorian Government announced today.

State Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Melissa Horne said the Shire has been successful in two of its applications to the 2023 TAC Local Government Grant Program.

“We’re deeply concerned with the number of lives lost on our state’s roads this year, and we will continue working with local governments to address road safety issues impacting their communities – but driving down road trauma takes all of us doing the right thing every time we hit the road,” said Minister Horne.

A grant of $30,000 will go towards the development of a Moira Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan, which will help to identify key road safety issues within the shire and develop a plan to improve road safety for all road users. 

A second grant of up to $100,000 will go towards construction of a raised intersection treatment, including two wombat crossings – part of the Nathalia Safer Pedestrian Project.

The Shire of Moira has seen 12 road deaths this year – a significant increase on the three lives lost at this time in 2022 – while 57 people have lost their lives on roads across the wider Hume region. 

On 20 April, five people and a dog died after a driver who allegedly failed to give way at the Labuan Road-Murray River Highway intersection in Strathmerton, ploughed into a Nissan Navara ute, killing all on board.

Victoria Police say the ute then spun out of control and hit a B-double milk tanker.

The horrific accident was recorded as Victoria’s deadliest road crash in more than a decade. 

In documents later tendered to court, Police revealed that the driver, Christopher Dillon Joannidis, 29, had spoken to officers just three minutes before the deadly crash after he had been pulled over for speeding.

In October, Moira Shire Council introduced a reduced speed limit for the area.

“We know there has been a lot of discussion in the community regarding the speed reduction on Labuan Rd and we understand the concerns raised by some residents,” Council Chair of the Panel of Administrators, John Tanner AM said at the announcement of the reduced speed limit.

“The speed reduction is just the beginning. Council have further plans, and are working closely with the Department of Transport and Planning, to strengthen safety along Labuan Road, the Murray Valley Highway intersection and throughout our entire Shire.”

The 2023 Transport Accident Commission (TAC) Local Government Grant Program was open for applications between July and August of this year, with analysis grants of up to $30,000 and infrastructure grants of up to $100,000 available for projects that adopt Safe System principles to reduce crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.

The 2023 program also saw the addition of grants of up to $30,000 for developing Road Safety Strategies and Action Plans, and a further $30,000 for purchasing Variable Message Signs.

“We’re working with local governments to improve road safety within their communities, and we look forward to collaborating with the Shire of Moira on these new projects,” said TAC CEO, Tracey Slatter.

A full list of successful recipients will be announced in early 2024.

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