Freeway priority

It was encouraging last month to see both State and Federal Governments jointly pledging $16m to improve the safety of road users on the freeway.
An advanced traffic management system installed from Stirling to Mt Barker would provide electronic speed signs and message boards as well as technology that could detect the temperature of the road and locate traffic accidents, allowing a faster emergency response to potential hazards.
However, it is well known to anyone who regularly travels along Adelaide Road and uses the Mt Barker freeway interchange that an upgraded or new interchange is needed.
According to Mt Barker Council staff, the existing interchange could be upgraded for about $8m.
The rest of the money could then be used to draw up a detailed plan for the long sought-after new interchange at Bald Hills Road.
Anything leftover from that could go towards a small section of signage immediately prior to the Mt Barker exit.
This plan, suggested by the council, certainly seems a more sensible use of the funds as it directly addresses the problem and would have a tangible impact on reducing the congestion which occurs when getting on and off the freeway at Mt Barker.
If an emergency hit the town now, with only one exit point, it’s sobering to think of the huge and potentially disastrous bottleneck that could occur.

Egg labelling

Most people know that food labelling laws in Australia are in dire need of an overhaul.
Products made from imported ingredients are legally allowed to be labelled in such a way that all but the savviest consumers believe they are buying a local product and supporting Australian primary producers.
The move by the State Government to standardise industry interpretations of “free range” eggs is a step in the right direction.
If everyone is aware of the rules and they are adequately conveyed to the consumer there can be no losers.
Those who provide a product the market no longer desires will either have to change to produce what people want, battle it out over a smaller market share or leave the industry.
The move is a long time coming and let’s hope it leads to further labelling reform.
The mark of a sophisticated society can be partly judged by how it treats its animals and this may be a small step in improving the welfare of laying hens.