The Member for Narre Warren North, Roads Minister Luke Donnellan MP, has spent Question Time today defending his description of his flawed wire rope barriers roll-out as ‘better than a kick in the d*ck.’
Mr Donnellan was forced to call the Mayor of Corangamite Shire yesterday to apologise for his offensive language, after learning that his comment to the Mayor was to become public.
Concerns have been raised by the CFA about the lack of spaces between the wire rope barriers, forcing emergency responders to travel several kilometres in the wrong direction before being able to turn around and attend roadside fires or accidents.
On Sunday, 50 firefighters fought a 10-hectare fire along the Calder Freeway near Castlemaine. The CFA Incident Controller blamed the wire rope barriers for hindering the firefighting effort, saying it was ‘only a matter of time someone was hurt or killed.’
In Parliament today Mr Donnellan said his wording was inappropriate, and what he actually meant to say was that his policy was ‘better than a kick in the head.’
Mr Donnellan has previously dismissed CFA concerns about the barriers, which are being rolled out a cost of $2 million per kilometre, calling those with concerns ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘banjo-playing dingbats.’
Mr Donnellan would not respond to questions about how many times he has been forced to apologise for his offensive language as Minister.
Comments attributable to Brad Battin, Member for Gembrook:
“Luke Donnellan’s clear lack of respect raises serious questions about his suitability as a Minister. Daniel Andrews must discipline his Minister or confirm that his government accepts this language as appropriate.”
“This isn’t the first time Luke Donnellan has disrespected those with opposing views – he has previously described plans to widen the Monash Freeway ‘bird-brained’.
“CFA volunteers put their life on the line to protect our communities. To show such blatant contempt for these men and women is a new low for Luke Donnellan.”
“A Liberal Government, if elected in November, will suspend this botched wire barrier program while a proper review is undertaken in consultation with the CFA and other key experts.”