New committee to drive road safety action

A new Joint Select Committee on Road Safety will delve into the Australian Government’s current and planned actions aimed at driving down road trauma.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the new multi-party committee and its focus on reporting on the effectiveness of existing road safety programs and investments.

“I thank Committee Chair Llew O’Brien for taking on a critical leadership role within the new committee, which will comprise nine members in total from right across the Parliament,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Joint Select Committee will thoroughly examine the effectiveness of existing road safety support services and programs, including opportunities to integrate Safe System principles into health, education, industry and transport policy.

“The committee will also look at the importance of achieving zero deaths and serious injuries across Australia, but especially in remote and regional areas. It will also consider recommendations for the role of the newly established Office of Road Safety.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said he looked forward to seeing the committee investigating opportunities to integrate Safe System principles into health, education, industry and transport policy.

“This is all about evaluating action to date and how to accelerate progress toward fewer deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads into the future,” Mr Buchholz said.

“There is great opportunity for road safety and the Safe System approach to be better integrated into related policy areas. The committee will also carefully evaluate the possible establishment of a future parliamentary Standing Committee on Road Safety and what its functions may be.”

Committee Chair Llew O’Brien said he would be taking a strong interest in enhanced coordination between different levels of government, including infrastructure investment priorities.

“As a former police officer, I know too well the horrific impact road accidents have on families right across the country,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The new committee will be looking into measures to ensure state, territory and local government road infrastructure investment incorporates the Safe System principles road trauma and incident data collection and coordination across Australia,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We will also consider any other measures to support the Australian Parliament’s ongoing resolve to reduce incidents on our roads.”

The committee will present an interim report by 30 March 2020 and its final report by 31 July 2020.

Among other matters, the Committee will inquire into and report upon:

  • the effectiveness of existing road safety support services and programs, including opportunities to integrate Safe System principles into health, education, industry and transport policy;
  • the impact of road trauma on the nation, including the importance of achieving zero deaths and serious injuries in remote and regional areas;
  • measures to ensure state, territory and local government road infrastructure investment incorporates the Safe System principles road trauma and incident data collection and coordination across Australia; and
  • other measures to support the Australian Parliament’s ongoing resolve to reduce incidents on our roads.