Emergency Services Roads | November 12, 2015

Bath calls on Labor to ease restrictions on over-dimensional vehicles during fire-fighting

Thursday 12 November 2015

Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has called on the Labor Government to review the government gazette relating to exemptions for over dimensional vehicles travelling on Gippsland roads for fire-fighting purposes.

Speaking in Parliament this week Ms Bath said there was confusion and concerns surrounding the laws for heavy vehicles travelling in Latrobe City during times of fire.

“A constituent of mine in Gippsland has been advised he is not insured under the Government Gazette exemptions and cannot operate on local roads without first receiving a certain permit even when using his prime mover to assist in local fire fighting,” Ms Bath said.

“In times of emergency the last thing our local volunteers are thinking about is making phone calls to get a permit for their vehicles.

“Fires do not understand that permits are not issued on public holidays, including Good Friday and Easter Sunday,” Ms Bath told the parliament.

Ms Bath said a trial in the shires of Wellington and East Gippsland had taken place in which certain over dimensional vehicles were exempt from having to obtain permits in emergency situations however these exemptions had not been extended to the rest of the state.

“In Latrobe City residents are still haunted by the devastation the Black Saturday fires caused and I believe this area along with the rest of the state deserve to be under the same exemptions,” Ms Bath said.

Ms Bath has been advised that VicRoads and other agencies are working at implementing state-wide legislation to address the concerns in time for next fire season.

“In some areas of the state fire season has already begun and I believe changes to the legislation would help our hard-working fire-fighting volunteers do their job in an efficient manner without the stress of risking financial burden if something was to go wrong,” Ms Bath said.

“I call on the Labor Government to immediately change state-wide legislation to address the confusion surrounding over dimensional vehicle access during emergency situations and allow our fire-fighting volunteers to get on with the job of protecting lives and property.” 

 

Media Contact: Renee Switzer 5174 7066

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