Govt inaction on rest areas is 'disgraceful: Opposition

By: Jason Whittaker


The Queensland Government is being accused of under-funding rest areas in the lead-up to new fatigue management laws, which will

The Queensland Government is being accused of under-funding rest areas in the lead-up to new fatigue management laws, which will be introduced on September 29.

The Coalition has leapt on findings from Parliamentary Estimates which opposition spokesman on main roads Howard Hobbs says shows the Government is failing to provide Main Roads with enough money to build rest areas.

Hobbs says the Government should be injecting more funds into the department, which is responsible for half of the heavy vehicle rest areas on Queensland roads.

"The recent Audit of Rest Areas against National Guidelines found rest opportunities for heavy vehicle drivers in Queensland were particularly scarce," he says.

Unless the Government invests more in funding rest areas, Hobbs says the trucking industry will find it hard to comply with fatigue laws, which require drivers to stop and rest on a regular basis.

"It's disgraceful that the Bligh government has allocated just $3 million over the next five years to construct and upgrade of heavy vehicle rest areas," Hobbs says.

"We need far more, and far more with better facilities."

Hobbs criticised the Government’s alleged inaction during the hearings and also took aim at the regulation barring heavy vehicles from parking around towns and cities for more than one hour.

He says the Government is effectively forcing drivers to carry on fatigued because there are insufficient areas for them to pull over and rest.

His comments come following an announcement by Main Roads it just finished building and improving eight new rest areas, albeit without toilets or drinking water.

The new areas are on the Carnarvon Highway around St George and Roma.

Minister for Main Roads Warren Pitt says the rest areas demonstrate the Government is serious about ensuring drivers have adequate places to rest and comply with fatigue regulations.

Related story:
Rest areas don't need toilets and drinking water: QLD

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