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Highway School Zone Needed for Mount Martha

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) I rise this afternoon to again express my concern at the lack of a school zone speed limit outside Balcombe Grammar School on the Nepean Highway at Mount Martha.

We all know that cars and kids do not mix: when cars are travelling at 80 kilometres an hour and a collision occurs, the most likely outcome is a fatality.

Balcombe Grammar currently has 860 pupils. Next year that number is expected to grow to 900. While the school has funded and installed pedestrian lights to cross the highway, there are credible and disturbing reports that numbers of cars are jumping the red light.

All too often in these situations it is a case of waiting until an accident happens before any action is taken. I do not want that to be the case at Balcombe Grammar.

I raised this issue a number of years ago by way of an adjournment matter, and I was told at the time by the then minister that the address of the school was not Nepean Highway. That was a convenient, ludicrous cop-out. While the main entrance to the school might not be on Nepean Highway, the school certainly is. The buses that serve the school run along Nepean Highway, and for students arriving in the morning from the north or departing in the afternoon to the south it is necessary to cross a busy road.

There are school zones on Nepean Highway at both Mount Eliza and Mornington. If school zones are needed at these two locations, and they clearly are, then why is it claimed that the same safety measures are not necessary at Mount Martha?

As I have noted in this house before, the present Minister for Roads has taken a far more cooperative and pragmatic approach than her immediate predecessor, and I seek her support in resolving this completely unsatisfactory situation before anyone gets hurt.