KIMBA District Council had deputy mayor Graeme Baldock attend a meeting with road safety minister Chris Picton to discuss the government’s decision to reduce road speeds.
The road between Kimba and Cleve is one of eight South Australian regional roads which will have its speed limit reduced from 110 kilometres to 100 kilometres per hour by the end of the year.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure initiated the speed reductions on roads with the worst crash history.
Mr Baldock was one of eight regional mayors who met with Mr Picton last week to explain the Kimba council’s opposition to the speed limit reduction.
The majority of respondents to a Port Lincoln Times poll on the change also opposed the speed limit cut with 93.29 per cent voting against it.
Kimba District Council mayor Dean Johnson said the council was keen to have its say on speed limit cuts.
He said the government needed to spend some money on making the road safer rather than introducing a cut to the speed limit and further inconveniencing people in the region.
Mr Johnson said he believed most the accidents on the road were caused cars colliding with kangaroos.
“If they want a quick fix they should remove the vegetation from the roadside, if you can see the kangaroos coming then you’ve at least go a chance of missing them,” he said.
However, Mr Johnson said what the road really needed was money spent on it to actually make it safer and that meant widening the road and putting in barriers.
Australian Conservatives MLC Robert Brokenshire said the meeting was an opportunity for the mayors to share their concerns about the government’s “hard-headed” approach.
“What they would like to see is investment in the roads to make them safe rather than the department hiding behind skewed statistics that do not reflect the reality of those living in the regions,” he said.
He said he would continue to work with the mayors to try and bring about a solution as the issue would not be resolved unless the government and department changed its policies.
Mr Brokenshire said the government needed to to take responsibility and commit actual funds to road infrastructure rather than trying “band aid solutions”.
“Today it is eight regions affected by mismanagement, who knows how many more will be affected if the government continues down this path,” Mr Brokenshire said.