Following on from the recent press release from our esteemed Minster for Police, the Honourable Liza Harvey where she showed a complete disregard for the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, “Cyclists Road Toll: Does the Police Minister Give a Toss?” we get a new press release (interesting the associated image was of camels … is that saying something?) from the Minister touting the “latest round of successful recipients of the State Government’s Road Safety Community Grants Program.”
These are grants apparently available for projects which focus on the “Safe System approach, aligned with the Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy 2008-2010.
So what sort of projects got Road Safety Community Grants? You know what sort of projects promote and work towards road safety? Guess what, Road Safety Community Grants to God rank right up there. It seems that praying or blessing roads is an expensive exercise now days which requires government funding … stuff the hospitals, fund instead God it seems and all will be good in the world.
Praying for (or blessing) the roads is a top road safety initiative worthy of taxpayer funding with City of Stirling, getting a roads safety grant for the annual 2014 Blessing of the Roads, the City of Wanneroo, getting a road safety grant for the Blessing of the Roads Campaign event and the City of Armadale, also getting a grant for the Blessing of the Roads event. Maybe we should all ride and drive our bikes in the City of Stirling, Wanneroo and Armadale.
I really would like the Minister to explain what the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are for these events. Maybe these Councils have an agreement with God for x number of lives to be saved.
Road Safety Community Grants of Value
Thankfully there do seem to be one or two Road Safety Community Grants of value among the 16 grants given out. These are the grants to:
- Avon Football Association, for the promotion of the anti-drink driving message
- City of Vincent, for the Community Roadwise Grant project
- School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA), for the Alternative Programs at Northam Senior High School project. This a government grant by the way to itself, i.e., a grant to another government department!
With the remaining Road Safety Community Grants it is really hard to see what the road safety connection is but maybe there is something there that only God, the Office of Road Safety and the Minister know about. The remaining grants went to:
- Landsdale Residents Association, for the 2014 Landsdale Neighbour Day event
- Joondalup Education Support Centre, for the Community Access event
- Northampton Visitor Centre, for the Australia Day Breakfast event
- The Centre for Cerebral Palsy, for the Walk With Me and Community Festival events
- Wongan Hills Community Resource Centre, for the Volunteers are Breathtaking event
- Shire of Woodanilling, for the Woodanilling Health Show and Expo event
- Merredin and Districts Agricultural Society Inc., for the Merredin and Districts Agricultural Society family day event
- Merredin Senior Centre Inc., for the Merredin Senior Games 2014 event
- Williams Gateway Expo, for the Williams Gateway Expo family day event
- Wundowie Primary School, for the Healthy Living Expo event
- Alternative Programs at Northam Senior High School project
We are told The Road Safety Community Grants Program is administered through the Office of Road Safety, which supports local organisations to actively raise awareness about road safety within their community. Frankly I am less than impressed with the Office of Road Safety who has in the past shown little regard to the safety of vulnerable road users. I had sincerely hoped for a change in attitude at the Office of Road Safety when Professor Murray Lampard became Chair. My hopes are rapidly fading.
If this administrating of the Road Safety Community Grants Program is anything to go by, we better hope that God is taking an interest, because the Minister sure as heck is not.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has reported that 161 people died on Western Australian roads in 2013 (163 according to the Minister of Police – heck we cannot even get that number agreeing for God’s sake). So what is the Minister’s response? A press release and a grant to God. What is the Office of Road Safety’s response? Three grants to God. I just hope God is honourable and actually earn these grants, because frankly the Minister and the Office of Road Safety seem to have dropped the ball.
Is it too much to ask that we have a Road Safety Community Grants program actually focused on real measurable achievable community road safety programs? Is it too much to ask that the Office of Road Safety start taking road safety seriously? To actually release that people also ride bicycles and walk and deserve a safe environment to do so? Professor D’Arcy, the last Chairman of the Office of Road Safety didn’t give a toss, the Minister of Police does not give toss, please someone give a toss.
What are your thoughts on Road Safety Community Grants to God?
Please do share your thoughts. Do you have more faith in God than I do? In the Minister of Police? In the Office of Road Safety? Can you share more light on these grants? Maybe from a hill or a burning bush. Please do leave your comments below.