If Queensland trucking boss Gary Mahon had the final say, the design plans below would form the basis for all new heavy vehicle rest areas to be rolled out across the state.
In sharing the concept drawings for a proposed site on the Bruce Highway at Gin Gin, the Queensland Trucking Association CEO said Bundaberg Regional Council should be applauded for the preliminary design, one that they could start building in early 2023.
“We commend the Bundaberg Regional Council for developing and supporting the industry with this initiative that will provide a high standard of necessary provisions needed at a heavy vehicle rest stop on this priority freight corridor,” said Mahon.
“They will support truck drivers with an environment to not only park up, but also safely access service station amenities with the inclusion of the pedestrian walkway.”
Located on the south side of the Bruce, opposite two popular servos, the proposed site includes toilets and provision for 10 parking bays that can accessed from both directions.
“To make it safe to cross the road as well, you need that walkway, which I thought was an essential element to it all.
“Even now when you drive through Gin Gin, on any particular night at around 7-8pm, you’ll most likely see a dozen B-doubles parked up in the dirt, on the edge of the table drain, and drivers walking back and forward across the road in the semi-darkness.
“So, to provide a really good, professional standard rest area is very commendable, and to add that attribute of the walkway is marvellous.”
Mahon said he also likes the fact drivers can drive in and out, and not have to unhook.
“It doesn’t matter if you come in last, or first, you can still drive out once you’ve had your break.”
An added bonus is that, assuming the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) signs off on the $5 million project, the dump point for caravans on the site will be relocated to the rest area on the north side of town.
“So, this is very much an exclusive heavy vehicle zone,” he said.
Mahon said the design can easily be scaled up, and he’s hoping that TMR takes note when it comes to building truckies’ rest area facilities on the new Tiaro bypass.
“What we’re trying to seek is a similar plan on both sides of Tiaro about double that size, in the vicinity of 20-odd parking spaces on each side.
“Tiaro is four hours from Brisbane and Gin Gin another two.
“So, what we’re looking to try to do going up the Bruce, from an industry perspective anyway, is have decent rest area provision at four, two, four, two [hours], so you’ve got a reasonably availability to plan out your trips in a fairly safe way.”
Mahon said TMR has shown support for the Gin Gin concept in early discussions they’ve shared with the council, who he said is kicking in 60 per cent of the funding.
A TMR spokesperson said the department is working collaboratively with Bundaberg Regional Council and other stakeholders, including the QTA, on the facility’s concept design to ensure it meets operator needs.
“A cost estimate will be developed as part of the current planning phase,” said the spokesperson.
“We will also need to complete consultation with key stakeholders, such as the QTA and the National Road Freighters Association, before we finalise a concept design for a heavy vehicle rest area at Tiaro.”