My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Roads.
The action I seek is for the minister to immediately and permanently halt the narrowing of Beach Road that commenced this week.
Since I was elected as the member for Sandringham I have received consistent representations from members of the Sandringham district expressing their concern over Kingston City Council’s plans to narrow and plant trees along Beach Road.
Beach Road is notoriously difficult for residents, pedestrians and motorists to safely navigate, with one constituent advising me that younger residents now refer to this stretch of road as ‘the Kingston death trail’.
Not only have Kingston council pressed ahead with a dangerous project, they have done so without affording the residents who will be directly affected by this project the chance to have their opinions and concerns addressed, or even substantially considered.
Kingston council’s handling of this issue has been, frankly, a farce, an absolute disgrace, without care for or consideration of the residents that it affects.
But when communities unite they can achieve great things.
With the full support of my constituents, I have written on six occasions to the Ombudsman, Kingston council, the Minister for Local Government and the Local Government Inspectorate seeking their help in demanding greater transparency from Kingston council and in putting a stop to this unwanted and unsafe project.
This contribution this evening marks the third time I have requested ministerial action on this issue in Parliament, and sits alongside the 14 questions on notice I have submitted in relation to this matter; six of which remain unanswered after a period greater than 30 days.
It took a hand-delivered note to each Kingston councillor to finally have plans for tree plantings revoked, and in this regard I would like to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of the community and in particular of Kingston councillor Geoff Gledhill.
But with summer fast approaching, the narrowing of Beach Road looks set to congest our community’s roads and worsen an already perilous stretch of motorway.
Unless evidence can be provided to the contrary, I fail to see how the minister’s refusal to halt these works does not constitute a wilful violation of the duty of care owed to my local residents.
I plead with the minister to act urgently before someone is hurt or, even worse, killed.