By Tate Papworth
A decade of community campaigning, a VicRoads recommendation, council advocacy and support from local MPs appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
Brimbank mayor Margaret Giudice confirmed that funding for traffic signals for the Ballarat Road intersections at Perth Avenue and Hulett Street had not been included in the state budget.
“Council has been advocating for safety along Ballarat Road for quite some time and that does include traffic signals for the intersections at Perth Avenue and Hulett Street,” Cr Giudice said. “VicRoads undertook an investigation into this section of Ballarat Road and recommended signals be installed at these locations.
“A budget bid was subsequently made by VicRoads to the state government … but unfortunately the bid was not successful.”
The proposed lights at Perth Avenue made national news earlier this year after the council supported the Albion Action Group’s proposal for the lights to have female pedestrian signals.
Albion Action Group president Dinesh Jayasuriya said the funding decision has left the community disheartened.
“We’ve been fighting for these lights for 10 years,” Mr Jayasuriya said. “I can’t imagine a marginal seat would have to fight a safety issue for a decade. We’ve pushed hard as a community, have the support of local members and council, have had VicRoads identify the need for lights – what more does it take?”
Mr Jayasuriya fears by the time lights are eventually installed it may be too late.
“Does it take a death for this to happen?
“This issue has been raised in Parliament five times – I can’t imagine any other traffic lights have been raised that much.
“If we don’t get these lights someone is going to get hurt and if that happens we will be going after those responsible for not acting.”