The Australian Government’s infrastructure boost will support productivity, jobs and road safety – but rest areas must not be an afterthought, the CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Andrew McKellar said today.
“The ATA welcomes the Government’s additional spending on roads across Australia. The spending delivers on collaborative advocacy by our members, such as the Queensland Trucking Association’s campaign for an inland freight route from Mungindi on the NSW border to Charters Towers,” McKellar said.
“The extra road spending should prioritise safety. In particular, the Government should expand the approach that has been taken on the Bruce Highway and require the new projects to include truck rest areas as part of their initial design, instead of looking to build them later at much greater expense.
“Truck drivers need rest areas so they can take the breaks they need to drive safely and meet their compliance obligations. But there just aren’t enough rest areas on the road system.
“Pleasingly, some states and territories are beginning to do better on planning for rest areas, with new projects and strategies released or under development in Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales following the strong work of ATA member associations.
McKellar said that ultimately, these strategies, and the hard work of ATA members, need to be backed by investment from the Australian Government and included as a mandatory standard in federal infrastructure spending.
Today’s announcements include $2 billion for the Great Western Highway upgrade across the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, $500 million for the Princes Highway corridor and key upgrades in Sydney.
In Victoria, the initiatives include more than $2 billion for a new intermodal freight terminal and $380 million to upgrade roads in Pakenham.
Queensland’s inland freight route will receive $400 million following strong advocacy by the Queensland Trucking Association. There is also an additional $400 million for the Bruce Highway.
In South Australia, $2.6 billion will go to Adelaide’s North-South Corridor, $161.6 million to the Truro Bypass and $148 million for the Augusta Highway
In Western Australia, $200 million will be spent on Great Eastern Highway upgrades and $160 million to improve the WA agricultural supply chain, while in Tasmania, $80 million has been allocated to Bass Highway safety and freight efficiency upgrades and $109.9 million to upgrading the Midland Highway.
The Government has allocated $150 million for national network highway upgrades in the Northern Territory. In the ACT, $26.5 million will go to duplicate William Hovell Drive.