Truckies still waiting for toilets at $1.5m rest area

Truckies driving the busy Bass Highway freight route through Howth in Tasmania have been short-changed by the state government, says local Burnie councillor Trent Aitken.

Cr Aitken was disappointed to discover that months after the official opening of the $1.5 million facility, co-funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments, it is still without the promised toilets for truckies.

The new rest area near the Howth weighbridge, the first under the state’s $5 million Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Strategy, was supposed to have provision for 15 heavy vehicle parking bays, toilets, lighting, water and shelter, according to the 2022 media release announcing the build.

“Things like this agitate the shit out of me and I’ve been watching this one for a little while, Cr Aitken said.

“I was driving past the other day and thought no, this has gone on too long now. The state government has signed off on it as being completed [in September, 2023], but from the response I’ve read from them, they’ve really been caught out here and they’ve really let truck drivers down.”

In a statement to Big Rigs, a spokesperson from the state’s Department of State Growth said the toilets were part of “stage two” of the project and work on their installation is due to start in July.

But Cr Aitken said he can find no council record of any application from the state for approvals and utility connections.

“I don’t believe it was two stage project. They say the toilets are being built off site but they’ve had two years to build them.

“I would say they actually had no intention of fulfilling this and were just hoping no one would say anything.”

The State Growth spokesperson told Big Rigs that the contract to build the toilet block was “recently awarded” and is now just awaiting council approvals and utility connections.

“The toilets are being constructed offsite, so we do understand it may seem as though not much is happening on site while work continues in the background,” the spokesperson said.

Cr Aitken said the facilities can’t come soon enough for the state’s truckies.

“We now have a lot of female truck drivers on the road and who don’t necessarily just want to pull up on the side of the road and urinate on the nature strip, so we need proper facilities,” he said.

“But not only for females, but for all truck drivers. There’s been a commitment made that these facilities would be provided to our truck drivers, and we need to get these facilities made and up and running.”

The state spokesperson said the Howth project is expected to be finished in September and will include the reinstallation of a bus shelter that is currently undergoing repairs off-site.

1 Comment

  1. Between the missing bus shelter and the toilets it is obvious that ‘off-site’ construction is about as effective as public servants ‘working from home’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend