Tasmanian government pledges to invest in truckies

The Liberal government in Tasmania has committed to investing in workforce and driver development, safety and wellbeing and emission reductions research within the transport sector.  

Ahead of polling day for state elections on Saturday, the current government has pledged to put $250,000 into establishing Tasmania’s first industry-led heavy vehicle driver development program to skill up the next generation of truck drivers.  

It has also promised to spend $440,000 on workforce development for the State’s freight transport industry, $400,000 on the Open Road Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing Program, and $100,000 on transition planning for carbon reduction and resilience.  

In addition, it has made a $3 million commitment to further investment in heavy vehicle rest areas at strategic locations around the state, conditional upon 20:80 funding from the Australian Government. 

The announcement has been welcomed by the Tasmanian Transport Association, with chairman John de Bruyn saying he is pleased that the government has responded to the association’s election priorities.  

He said a heavy vehicle driver development program is needed to foster the drivers of the future, as the road transport industry faces worrying skills shortages and bottlenecks in terms of driver training.
“There is also a further investment, including the Drive Your Future campaign which will highlight career opportunities including a formal Truck Driving Apprenticeship and a Schools Development Pathway,” he added.

De Bruyn said an investment of $400,000 over two years for the Open Road program, which invests in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the Tasmanian transport industry, would help support a healthy and resilient freight transport sector.
“As well as this, the Liberals have undertaken to invest some $100,000 for research and development toward a clear transition plan for carbon emissions reduction and to work with the Commonwealth to continue to invest in Rest Areas for Heavy Vehicle Drivers, building on the Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Area Strategy,” he said.
“These initiatives cannot come a day too soon and I am delighted the Liberals have listened to our calls to assist in these areas.
“Should there be a Liberal government, we look forward to working with them on these important measures to support the Tasmanian transport sector,” de Bruyn said. 

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