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Prime Mover Magazine

Government boost to rest areas and roads huge win: ATA

Funding of $132.5 million announced by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to roads and rest areas was today hailed as a huge win by national industry body the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).

Announced this morning, the massive funding boost pledged by the Australian Government will include 93 projects under round six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

Projects will include construction of a new 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 situated between Walcha and Uralla.

ATA CEO Ben Maguire described the announcement as a “huge win” for its 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,” he said.

“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.

Deputy Prime Minister McCormack also revealed that local councils, and state and territory governments will match the federal government’s $132.5 million commitment, bringing the total investment to more than $300 million.

“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,” said Maguire.

“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.

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