ATA: Invest in better roads, rest areas and bridges

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is calling on the Australian Government to improve road safety and boost industry productivity by investing in safer roads, rest areas and bridges.

The ATA’s 2021-22 pre-budget submission was released today. ATA Chair David Smith said upgrading the road network would have enormous benefits for safety and productivity.

“While we welcome the Australian Government’s existing $110 billion infrastructure pipeline, it should be strengthened with further investment in truck rest areas, freight routes, regional roads and bridge upgrades,” Smith said.

“Studies show that the road is the cause of about 30 per cent of all crashes, and plays a significant role in how severe all road crashes are.

“The Government should ensure best-practice safety and productivity standards on national highways by adopting infrastructure standards for rest areas, safety and High Productivity Freight Vehicle (HPFV) access.”

Smith added that investment in safer and more accessible infrastructure for HPFVs would reduce the number of truck movements, reduce congestion, lower freight costs, and use trucks that are safer, quieter and greener.

“Infrastructure investment should target projects that will improve road access for HPFVs, including upgrading the Sheahan Bridge on the Hume Highway,” Smith said.

In the submission, the ATA has called for prioritising better outcomes and policy by investing in improved capability and resourcing of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, and Infrastructure Australia.

“We recommend the Government should support industry and remove barriers to reducing emissions from transport, lead national reform agendas for removing stamp duty and payroll tax, and not proceed with the mandatory super increase,” Smith said.

“There should also be investment in extending safety-focused crash investigations for heavy vehicles.

“Trucking plays a crucial role in the Australian economy and keeping our communities supplied and connected. It is vital that an industry of such significant importance is supported with the proper infrastructure to ensure it remains safe and productive.”

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