In a tumultuous week of reshuffles at the top of NSW politics, so far at least, we’re hearing that new Deputy Premier Paul Toole will retain his regional transport and roads portfolio.
Unlike some of his parliamentary colleagues, the new leader of the NSW Nationals is more visible than most when it comes to the issues facing trucking operators in the regions.
Just last week he fronted at the latest freight-friendly Covid testing site in Raglan, the 11th for truckies in the state.
“More than 100,000 tests have been carried out across all our testing sites since we opened the first one at Tarcutta more than 12 months ago, and since the beginning of June alone, we’ve seen a 1679 per cent increase in the number of tests carried out at these sites,” Toole said.
“These testing sites have proven invaluable in helping the freight industry meet the challenges of the Delta strain – and make it easier for truckies and other freight workers to get tested and keep essential supplies moving across NSW and interstate.
“We know how important the freight industry is to the Central West, and this latest site builds on the one we opened at Blackbutt Rest Area on the Newell Highway in Dubbo earlier this month.
“The new site, located at Raglan BP Service Centre, 39 Sydney Road, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will accommodate freight workers travelling along a major road freight corridor which sees around 1800 heavy vehicle movements per day, servicing our communities from Sydney through to the Blue Mountains and Western NSW.”
Meanwhile, the departure of Andrew Constance for federal politics sees Rob Stokes, who just a few days earlier was staking a claim for the Premier role, take over the transport portfolio.
“When I called him this morning, he was very happy to take it on and I think balancing both planning, transport, and infrastructure makes perfect sense,” new Premier Dominic Perrottet informed reporters yesterday.