Published: 17 September 2015


 In times of winter weather conditions that result in heavy snowfall and ice that closes roads in Tasmania to all traffic, and all traffic other than four-wheel drive vehicles:


(1)  Who is responsible for closing roads?

(2)  How are people notified that the road is closed?

(3)  If signage is not used, how are people notified?

       (a)   If they are not aware the road is closed, how will this affect insurance matters?

(4)  How are road closures publicised in areas of no radio and internet reception (which is most of the West Coast)?



Mr President, I thank the honourable member for Murchison for her question.

(1)  Roads can be closed for the purposes of maintenance or safety by State Roads or council under the provisions of, respectively, the Roads and Jetties Act 1935 or the Local Government (Highways) Act 1982.  Tasmania Police may also cause roads to be closed.

(2)  Where practical, temporary road barriers are put in place with a notice attached detailing the authority under which the road is closed.  State Roads provides regular road condition (including road closure) updates to Tasmania Police, who in turn update that information onto the Tasmania Police Community Alerts webpage for access by the public.  Notifications are also provided to media outlets.

The Department of State Growth is currently developing a web page to provide alerts.

(3)  See (2) above.

     (a)  It is an offence under the Roads and Jetties Act 1935 to 'cause any animal or vehicle to go along a road or part of a road' closed by a road barrier and notice.  Insurance policies vary widely and are a matter between the vehicle owner and the insurance company.


(4)  It is the responsibility of vehicle operators to maintain situational awareness and drive to the road conditions, especially during a prolonged weather event such as heavy snowfall and ice.  Members of the public, prior to departing on their journey, can telephone the Tasmania Police general enquiries number to seek information on road conditions and closures when planning their journey.

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