Bell calls for reversal of decision to reduce speed limits on Riddoch Highway & Carpenter Rocks Road

Thursday May 17, 2018

Published by Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell MP

The Member for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell MP this week in Parliament called on the State Liberal Government to honour their election commitment to reverse the decision by the previous Labor Government to lower the speed limit on Riddoch Highway and the Carpenter Rocks Road.

The Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure reduced the speed limit on the Riddoch Highway and the Carpenter Rocks Road by 10km last year with little consultation with the community or the District Council of Grant.  The reduction in speed limit was based on a “safe systems” approach to setting speed limits, and that 110 km/h should only be considered for very high standard rural roads.

As part of the Liberal’s plan for change for the State of South Australia, a commitment was made to “reverse the reduction in speed limits on eight country roads proposed by the Weatherill Government”.

In parliament this week the Member for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell MP asked the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Planning, The Hon Stephan Knoll MP   “Can the Minister inform the house when the government will reverse the reduction in speed limits on the Carpenter Rocks Road and Riddoch Highway in my electorate of Mount Gambier, as promised prior to the 2018 election?”

In response Minister Knoll acknowledged that “there was a lot of outrage from regional communities” when the announcement to reduce speed limits was initially made.  “Feedback that we got at the time from the locals who knew the accidents that happened suggested that speed was only one factor; in fact, in some of the cases, speed was not a factor.”

Minister Knoll continued “What we are working through at the moment and what we said always—and that is why I am so proud to be implementing our government's Royalties for Regions scheme—is looking at what needs to be done in order to help improve not just those roads but all roads across country South Australia”. 

The Minister went on to say  “I don't want this answer to be in any way construed that we are walking away from our commitment. We will be reinstating those speed limits, but after only having come to government eight weeks ago, we want to be apprised of all the information and everything that is necessary to make sure that we do right by regional South Australians.”

In closing the Minister indicated he looked “forward to being able to give a more specific answer to the member, as well as regional members on my side about when this promise will be delivered”.

“The maintenance and upgrade of rural road infrastructure was a low priority for the previous State Labor Government who instead spent millions of dollars on major roads in Adelaide” said Mr Bell.

“I encourage the regional Liberal MP’s to advocate on behalf of regional South Australians that upgrade and maintenance works are scheduled for our regional roads”.

A petition with over 65 signatures was delivered to the office of Troy Bell MP this week requesting the re-instatement of 110 km/h on the Riddoch Highway.