E G Waterhouse National Camellia Garden Rail Barrier
|About this Item||Subjects||Pedestrians; Road Safety; Accidents; Playgrounds; Gardens
||Speakers||Kerr Mr Malcolm
||Business||Private Members Statements
Mr MALCOLM KERR (Cronulla) [6.05 p.m.]: I refer to public safety, something the Government should be aware of after the events of the past 14 days and the publicity given to the danger posed to pedestrians. I hope the Premier has received his copy today of the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader because the front page—
Mr Milton Orkopoulos: Of course.
Mr MALCOLM KERR: Of course. I am glad the Minister is able to say that. I suppose the Premier passes it on to the Minister once he has finished reading it.
Mr Milton Orkopoulos: Along with the Land.
Mr MALCOLM KERR: Yes. An article in today's St George and Sutherland Shire Leader states:
Concerns have been raised about safety at a popular children's playground in Miranda after serious car accidents just a few metres away.
Mr Milton Orkopoulos: Where?
Mr MALCOLM KERR: It is in my electorate. The Minister need not panic. The article continues:
The fenced playground at the EG Waterhouse Camellia Gardens is below road level on the south-east corner of President Avenue and Kareena Road.
On the Thursday before Easter, a car crashed through a brick wall into a house, which is in a similar, below road-level position, on the south-western corner.
In an accident at the intersection on May 7, a motorcyclist was seriously injured in a collision, although the vehicle did not leave the road.
Megan and James Holmes who live in the house that was damaged said that they were particularly worried about the playground because there were always a dozen or so kids in there. The father-in-law of Mr Holmes, Ralph Clark, who owns the house said that during the past eight years three cars had crashed through the fence. The latest accident caused $50,000 damage to the house. He went on to say:
You would think that after what happened to Sophie Delezio [when a car crashed into a preschool at Seaforth] the council would realise they have a serious litigation problem.
It is not the council, but the Roads and Traffic Authority that said that guardrails cannot be installed. A council spokeswoman said:
The minimum requirement for a guardrail is that it be at least 16 metres in length, otherwise it can pose a greater hazard in an accident than the risk of not having a rail.
However, there is a need for protection. I have spoken to the mayor, Councillor Kevin Schreiber, and the Chairman of the Traffic Committee, Councillor Magdi Mikhail, who are very happy to work with the Roads and Traffic Authority [RTA] to find a practical solution. On 4 May I wrote to the Hon. Eric Roozendaal. No doubt the Minister could have another one of his famous exchanges with the Minister for Roads; no doubt he has very warm memories of the Minister when he was State Secretary of the Australian Labor Party; no doubt those warm relations will continue and he can be of help. I supplied the Minister with photographs and said that a rail barrier is required for both property and pedestrian safety. As I said, Sutherland Shire Council is very happy to work co-operatively to ensure that an adequate barrier is provided to protect both property and people. This is an urgent matter. It is purely a technicality that, ironically, is an obstacle to any positive action. I call upon the Government to initiate dialogue with the council to ensure that a barrier is erected.