Queensland Shadow Minister for Transport, Main Road & Road Safety Fiona Simpson
Good Samaritans Hampered By Bureaucracy
Victor P Taffa
A heavy-handed bureaucracy has hit good Samaritans in the wake of the floods, the State Opposition has said today.
Shadow Minister for Transport, Main Road and Road Safety Fiona Simpson has called on the State Government to stop penalising small businesses for acting in good faith when using restricted roads after and during the floods.
“I have received numerous letters of complaint from commuters and businesses complaining about communication network break downs as well as the delivery of mixed information by Police and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.” Ms. Simpson.
“One local Toowoomba family who run a small distribution business has asked the government for some common sense and leniency after they were fined $600 for allegedly ‘contravening a restricted road use notice’ whilst trying to deliver goods to flood affected regions.”
“The fine recipient appears to have done the right thing and used his initiative to contact Local Police prior to his departure to enquire about road closures. He was advised by Police the roads along his intended route were in fact open, only to be fined and turned back mid journey by Transport Department Officers advising the road was closed.” Ms. Simpson said.
“Relevant Government Departments and Police need to be linked so they can share regular information updates, such as road closures and ensure the delivery of consistent information to commuters. By doing so, good Samaritans would be saved the misfortune of being issued with excessively expensive fines.”
“Many regional businesses have been unable to run their companies and receive an income in many weeks and months. As a result, it’s unfair for people to be fined where they’ve tried to do the right thing.” Ms. Simpson said.
“I wrote to the Honourable Rachel Nolan on 14 February 2011 respectfully seeking her urgent investigation to this matter. I urge the newly appointed Minister for Transport, Ms. Palaszczuk and the Minister for Main Roads, Mr. Wallace to please work rapidly to fix this communication breakdown.”
“It is vital good samaritan Queenslanders are able to work unimpeded by the very Government who says they’re committed to our State’s recovery, to deliver much needed help and supplies to flood-affected communities. Safety must come first but that is only possible if communication systems are consistent.” Ms. Simpson said.