Mayor’s Message 6

7 June 2019

I want to express the deepest of sympathy to the families and friends who have lost loved ones following the recent tragedies in our community

Their grief is very raw and our hearts go out to them. Coming to grips with the loss of loved ones is very real pain. For our community, we are also hurting in absorbing the news of so many lives lost in such a short time. This is a different type of pain. We need to acknowledge the impact that these tragedies have on those who are not directly involved, but are there to rescue and save lives. The memories of these incidents are not permanently removed from their minds.  The physical and mental health of these people also needs to be protected. We are proud though to acknowledge the professional men and women in Emergency Services, Police, Paramedics, Firies, SES, our Council staff and any others who have been involved as part of the first responders. On behalf of our community I want to express our genuine thank-you.

Often, among the first comments after a road crash is to challenge the condition of the road.  In recent crashes, were the roads responsible in any way?  Most of these accidents have happened on State controlled roads and not Council owned roads. All the roads named are in a sound trafficable state. Essentially, it is not roads in themselves that kill. As road users, we need to take responsibility and be alert to the Fatal Five road rules. Yes, it is true that some accidents are unavoidable and deaths do occur. However, most accidents happen due to ignoring the Fatal Five road rules or other external factors.  Police Snr. Sgt Dave Tierney, Officer in Charge at the Kingaroy Police Station recently said that during his 34 years as a police officer, it has amazed him how readily we as a society have come to accept the death of hundreds each year on our roads both locally and nationally. He said “I can tell you, in 34 years of attending crashes, most have been totally avoidable”.

This Council takes the issue of road safety very seriously. The point to encourage is to observe the Fatal Five. Ignoring road rules, road signage or other external factors leave us all taking a risk every time we sit behind the wheel of a vehicle.  South Burnett Regional Council will continue its progress of road works to ensure the comfort of road users. We can all play a part in preservation of life and avoid tragic accidents and crashes.