NOTE: This is a 2-3 minute read. If you are short on time, we suggest that you scroll to the bottom to look at the 60 second video from Matt Bach MP.
Eight months ago in September 2022, WATAG started a petition asking for local Whitehorse Council to work with the state Department of Planning and Transport (DPT) to design a way of making is safe for children and in fact, everyone in the community, to cross Blackburn Rd, Blackburn. The section between Blackburn Station and Canterbury Rd is 1.4 km without any safe crossing points.
In April we updated the community about the delays and apparent buck-passing between Council and the DPT.
Refresh you memory here with the details: The time is NOW for this.
In that article WATAG wondered whether because there are no records of deaths or serious injury at these locations, they are considered by the DPT to be safe. We thought that presumably, if a death or serious injury does occur, they will give greater priority to action being taken.
We noted that local MP’s Will Fowles and Paul Hamer have been asked to help because it seems that another local MP, Paul Mullahy, successfully worked with a local school kid to get a safe crossing over a nearby road with similar traffic conditions.
The article gave contact details for all the MP’s representing the Blackburn area and asked people to contact them if they supported the need for safe crossings.
Will Fowles MP responded to our letter to him and restated the DPT position by saying:
“DoT has investigated the safety of this intersection and advised that an intersection upgrade is unlikely to be implemented in the short term.”
He also noted: “I appreciate this wasn’t the answer you were hoping for, but I am grateful for your interest in local infrastructure.”
Thanks Will – but that isn’t the end of the story for WATAG or the Blackburn community!
Paul Hamer MP noted that: “It will be difficult to secure funding for a signalised pedestrian crossing at this location if the project does not have the in principle support of the Department“
He also said: “As previously mentioned, I want to take this back to the Department and the Minister, so by that definition I am intervening in support of the community’s request (having already raised it alongside your original submission).”
Thanks Paul – but we already know the DPT’s response is negative. Unfortunately we have had no indication that this is seen as important by the government.
Matt Bach MP recently took notice of our request and took the positive action of asking a question in Parliament:
Thanks Matt – your request has great merit. The community appreciates your public support.
WATAG thinks that Minister Horne might be more persuaded if local MP’s from both major parties join together and make a united approach.
So the challenge is out there to you all – Will Fowles MP, Paul Hamer MP and Matt Bach MP.
And see if you can interest your colleague Shaun Leane MP to join with you too.
Other readers of this article might like to click the links attached to the names above and email them too, and don’t forget the The Hon Melissa Horne MP – Minister for Roads and Road Safety!