Commonwealth announces Road Safety Governance Review

The Commonwealth has announced a Road Safety Governance Review, implementing a key recommendation of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) 2011–2020, initiated by the Australian Government in September 2017.

State and territory ministers will discuss the scope of the review with the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council next month, but Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has said the review will inform the implementation of other recommendations of the inquiry.

“I want to ensure broad consultation on the terms of reference, including with the Inquiry Panel and other stakeholders, ahead of release before the end of the year,” Mr McCormack said.

The announcement on Friday marks the first response by the Commonwealth to the recommendations of the independent inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy.

The governance review, which will commence “as soon as possible,” is one of 12 recommendations put forward by the inquiry, which also set a target of zero road deaths by 2050.

The inquiry called for the government to undertake a national road safety governance review by March 2019.

It warned that an estimated 12,000 people would be killed in the next 10 years and 360,000 injured if firm action isn’t taken.

The inquiry, which was co-led by Associate Professor Jeremy Woolley, who received the prestigious Australasian College of Road Safety Fellowship last week, also flagged the need for improvements in road safety leadership, resourcing and technology.

Last week Professor Woolley called out a “crisis of complacency” on the government’s failure to commit to a road toll of zero.

Professor Woolley called for co-ordinated action by all three levels of government to combat the road toll, saying that current government actions were “simply not good enough,” Professor Woolley said, adding “we need to lift our game.”

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