The Federal Government has announced it will fund the construction of new rest areas and maintenance and improvements to existing rest areas.
The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program includes $132.5 million-dollar in funding and was announced today by Deputy PM Michael McCormack.
The funding will be matched by local councils and state and territory governments – bringing the total investment, according to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), to more than $300 million dollars.
It comes just months after the industry body urged the Government to invest in better rest area facilities.
The ATA CEO Ben Maguire says the investment in the nation’s rest areas is good news for truck drivers.
“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.
“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.”
Some of the projects that will be funded include the construction of a new major heavy vehicle rest area on the Golden Highway.
There will also be a new heavy vehicle rest area built 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.
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