The Australian Trucking Association has welcomed today’s announcement that roads and rest areas across the country will receive a massive funding boost.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack this morning announced that 93 projects will share in a total of $132.5 million of federal funding under Round Six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
“This is a huge win for the ATA and our member associations. For a long time, we have campaigned for improved and more frequent rest areas, and it’s extremely rewarding to have locked down such significant funding,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said today.
“Earlier this year, I walked in the shoes of a truck driver and spent the night at a ‘best practice’ truck rest area in NSW. The noise was far too loud, and the bathroom facilities were poorly lit. Conditions that would unacceptable in any other workplace,” he said.
Mr McCormack’s announcement also revealed the Australian Government’s commitment of $132.5 million will be matched by local councils and state and territory governments, for a total investment of more than $300 million.
The projects include the construction of a new major heavy vehicle rest area on the Golden Highway, a new heavy vehicle rest area at Young and installation of toilets and furniture at the Yalgoo rest area between Walcha and Uralla.
“Our roads and rest areas are a driver’s workplace and we have no chance of resolving fatigue if drivers are not provided with appropriate facilities to ensure a safe journey,” Mr Maguire said.
“Having appropriate rest area facilities for heavy vehicles is not optional. It’s not nice to have; it is a fundamental requirement.
“Industry bodies and safety advocates like Rod Hannifey have campaigned on this issue for years, and I am pleased to see the government improving safety for our truck drivers across the country.
“Deputy Prime Minister McCormack understands trucking and the important role it plays in the Australian economy. Together with government, industry and the wider community, we can work together to make our roads a safer place for everyone,” he said.