Put safety first

Ian Braybrook, Castlemaine

The community group ‘Newstead 2021’ has petitioned the government to halt the safety works on the Pyrenees Highway between Castlemaine and Newstead, principally because it involves the removal of 146 trees (‘Road works halt’, Midland Express, February 5). As a result the work has been postponed.
Newstead does not own that road; it is used by thousands of other people each year. The proposed work is a matter of safety for all road users, not just the residents of Newstead.
More road signs and better edges, as suggested by the group (already included in the halted work) will contribute to safety, but nothing compares to the danger of roadside trees (replaceable).
I am sure that the families of people who have died (irreplaceable) as a result of collision with trees on this, and other roads, would support the removal of those that are hazardous.
If the 532 Newstead people (population 756) who signed the petition contributed just one dollar they would easily pay for tree replacements. Further, they could combine to dig the necessary holes at no cost to the public.
On behalf of all road users I urge VicRoads and the government to put our safety first and get the job done.

2 thoughts on “Put safety first

  • February 13, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Yeah, right…the danger of roadside trees…that’s a new one. Excactly how many accidents are caused by roadside trees? If people actually cared a damn about road deaths (still at over 1100 per year) there would be countless steps that could be taken to save lives before we would start felling random trees. Apparently removing trees gratifies an individual’s passion for nature destruction and is the easy option.

  • February 14, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Roadside reserves are an important source of remnant vegetation as they provide habitat and corridors for the dispersal of native plants and animals. In some cases they are the only remaining link between remnant vegetation in a landcape dominated by agriculture and horticulture.
    VicRoads have guidelines for managing roadside vegetation which they should follow, and give preference for retaining trees. Speed, distraction and alcohol are some of the main causes of road fatalities and these need to be addressed.


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