My story is not as colourful or as uplifting as the member for Parramatta’s was. My story is about the tragedy that happens across Australia every day where people make mistakes on our roads—and they have tragic consequences. This particular tragedy was on my patch. A couple and their daughter, leaving a major theme park that is actually in country Victoria, out of the metropolitan area, crossing across the highway were struck by a truck doing 80 kilometres an hour. The gentleman died at the scene, the mum was critically injured and the baby was taken to hospital.
I have just come from a meeting with the roads minister, Scott Buchholz, who is now looking at ways we can alleviate this particular problem at this intersection at Gumbuya World. The worst part about this is that these people were Melbourne residents coming into country Victoria, on country highways without the supports that you have in urban areas. Gumbuya World has a permit to put 8,000 cars through that intersection every day. The traffic coming down the highway travels at 100 kilometres an hour on that part of the highway. The intersection is at the top of a hill, so the visibility to your right and to your left is very difficult.
The ways around it cost a lot of money. We can’t put an overpass on every intersection right across the whole of Victoria everywhere there’s a place. We also can’t help that people will come out of a happy day at a theme park with their wife and daughter—’Gee, we’ve had a great day’—and mum is in the back of the car with the daughter and, bang, they’re gone. And the trauma is not just a trauma for that family, who were Australians who came here to make a new life; around that accident were a whole lot of my constituents who saw what happened. One young girl who dragged the young girl out of the back of the car and took her away from the scene is, of course, traumatised.
The departments have been terrific with me today, and so has Michael McCormack’s office and their staff and Scott Buchholz, in understanding the trauma conveyed to me from my constituents about this tragic event. I actually don’t know the outcome for the family. I hope the mother has survived. I hope she will be back with the daughter as soon as possible. But it’s up to me, as the local member, to do all I can on behalf of my constituents and the community and all the people that come to Gumbuya World to get an outcome on their behalf that will make this place safer.