Transport Minister announces inquiry into Main Roads’ regional road signage

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Cally DupeCountryman
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Roadworks at the entry to Williams.
Camera IconRoadworks at the entry to Williams. Credit: Liam Croy

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has announced an independent inquiry into Main Roads’ handling of regional road signs after this week confirming she “supported” the idea and was in talks to determine how it might work.

Ms Saffioti today confirmed she would work with MPs to determine the scope of the review — which is likely to be an independent inquiry and not a parliamentary inquiry — including “how a review would look, who would be a part of it and its terms of reference”.

The State Government and Ms Saffioti have come under increasing pressure during the past six weeks to hold the inquiry after a petition was launched in June and circulated across regional WA, attracting more than 5000 signatures.

North West Central MLA Vince Catania tabled the petition in Parliament on August 11 on the first sitting day after the recent break.

The petition, supported by the WA Liberals, called for an independent inquiry into Main Roads’ handling of regional road signage in WA.

Mr Catania confirmed he was in talks with Ms Saffioti, and thanked her for “accepting there was a big public push for the inquiry”.

“Now we just have to get on and do it,” he said.

“We have a looming State election, and it would be great to have the results of the inquiry made public towards the end of the year.

“I think there has been enough public push and enough evidence in the public domain to support this review.”

Ms Saffioti and Mr Catania told Countryman this week the inquiry would be independent of the State Government, due to the short time frame before the 2021 election.

Mr Catania said he envisaged the inquiry would have an independent committee made up of a variety of stakeholders, including some from the transport industry.

“It could perhaps have someone that has been personally affected to be on the committee as well, to have a personal insight,” he said.

“What the committee would look like is something we will continue in those discussions and get it under way.

“We are up against time and want to get some positive, logical outcomes from the inquiry.

“We only have eight weeks of Parliament left so trying to make this a parliamentary inquiry would hamper the process.”

Ms Saffioti thanked Mr Catania for raising the issue and “presenting this community petition to the WA Parliament”.

“We will now work together co-operatively, through the Parliament, to figure out how a review would look, who would be a part of it and its terms of reference,” she said.

“Road safety is our number one priority and I am happy to support an independent inquiry into road signage in regional WA.

“Mr Catania and myself have discussed how to proceed with the regional road works signage inquiry.

“We have agreed the WA Government will authorise the establishment of an independent review of regional road works signage.

“We will determine the details of this review in coming weeks.”

Mr Catania launched the petition in support of his jailed constituent Kimberly “Cob” de Pledge, a well-known pastoralist, who is serving nearly four years in jail for a crash that killed a Tom Price couple in 2017.

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