The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Member for New England
10 October 2023
STOP HIDING ROAD SAFETY DATA: LIVES DEPEND ON IT
A national campaign to force state governments to be transparent about their road safety data has been endorsed by former Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Joyce said an alarming 26% increase in the New South Wales’ Road toll over the last 12 months, as part of a 7.5% nation-wide increase, should bring a renewed focus and a sense of urgency to road safety.
Mr Joyce said it had been more than a decade since State and Territory governments gave a commitment to start reporting transparently and consistently on road safety data including the number of serious injuries; and deaths where speed was a factor.
“That still hasn’t happened”, Mr Joyce said.
“The Federal Government provides $10 billion per year in road funding and, right now, is negotiating a new National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects with all State and Territory governments.
“I urge the Federal Government to seize this moment to ensure the collection and transparent reporting of consistent road safety data, are a mandatory condition of that agreement”, Mr Joyce said.
“This isn’t and shouldn’t be a political issue. Better data collection is being driven by our NRMA here in New South Wales and their peak national body, the Australian Automobile Association as a part of their ‘Data Saves Lives’ campaign. And it has strong support of groups ranging from Australian Trucking Association to the Caravan Industry Association and Brain Injury Australia”.
“No level of government can seriously hope to reverse the disturbing road toll if it can’t get serious about measuring what works and what doesn’t; or can’t get serious about precisely identifying the causes”, he said.
Mr Joyce, as a former Minister for Infrastructure and local MP with an extensive regional road network, said he had attempted to get State and Territory governments to voluntarily agree to provide transparent and consistent data to underpin the work of the national Office of Road Safety, established by the previous Coalition Government.
“Only one state would agree. So now, with a new partnership agreement being formalised, this is the opportunity to lock in state and territory governments”, he said.
Mr Joyce said nationwide reporting of consistent data had become routine in other areas such a education standards; health measures and medical procedures; and Closing the Gap targets.
“It’s now time for it to become core business of our nationwide road safety efforts”, he said.