Federal plea on horror road

Concerned residents Rob Scali and Krystal Clark met with politicians Russell Broadbent and Gary Blackwood to discuss action on Princes Highway upgrades.

By Mitchell Clarke

Fears around the deadly stretch of road outside Gumbuya World have reached Canberra.

Federal Monash MP Russell Broadbent revealed he’s called on the Assistant Road Safety Minister, Scott Buchholz, to look at ways to alleviate the risks associated with the problem Princes Highway intersection in Tynong North.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Broadbent told of the Australia Day eve tragedy that took place outside the theme park and claimed the life of a father and seriously injured a mother and child.

Mr Broadbent said implementing long-term solutions to address the road’s black spots cost a lot of money.

“We can’t put an overpass on every intersection right across the whole of Victoria everywhere there’s a place,” he said.

“We also can’t help that people will come out of a happy day at a theme park with their wife and daughter – and say ’Gee, we’ve had a great day’ – and mum is in the back of the car with the daughter and, bang, they’re gone.

“The worst part about this is that these people were Melbourne residents coming into country Victoria, on country highways without the supports that you have in urban areas.”

“And the trauma is not just a trauma for that family, who were Australians who came here to make a new life. Around that accident were a whole lot of my constituents who saw what happened.

“One young girl who dragged the young girl out of the back of the car and took her away from the scene is, of course, traumatised.”

That young girl is the daughter of David Young, a Ripplebrook resident, who witnessed the collision.

Mr Young believes Gumbuya World has a responsibility to implement measures to make the road safer for their guests.

He contacted Cardinia Shire Council seeking answers as to whether they had reviewed the park’s compliance with a planning permit approved in June 2017.

It’s understood Gumbuya World has a permit to put 8000 cars through the intersection on a daily basis.

“Council investigates compliance related matters as required which is generally in response to complaints/enquiries made to council,” a Cardinia Shire spokesperson said in email correspondence to Mr Young, seen by the Gazette.

“It is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure all conditions and endorsed plans are complied with however where possible, council may undertake proactive enforcement where it considers it necessary.”

The spokesperson added: “To date, council has not identified any breach of the Traffic Management Plan referenced in Planning Permit T170223.”

But Mr Young said the response was “very disappointing” and didn’t provide any level of confidence to the community.

“I found the response to be very inadequate and failed to address the key issue as to whether the council, as the responsible authority, had reviewed Gumbuya World’s compliance with the conditions of the permit issued in regards to the Traffic Management Plan,” he explained.

“We really want them (Gumbuya) to be a good community citizen and work with the council and the government. They need to take some level of responsibility to resolve this problem.”

Cardinia Shire Council was contacted for comment.

Meanwhile, Mr Broadbent said he had successful dealings with his Federal counterparts.

“It’s up to me, as the local member, to do all I can on behalf of my constituents and the community and all the people that come to Gumbuya World to get an outcome on their behalf that will make this place safer,” he said.

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