No promise of water at rest stops, but subsidy to remain

Re-elected Labor government in Queensland to supply fresh water to "cost effective" rest areas and retain fuel subsidy

By Michael House

A re-elected Labor government in Queensland will only supply fresh water to "cost effective" rest areas, but will retain the State’s fuel subsidy scheme.

On the eve of what promises to be the most tightly contested Sate election in years, Minister for Transport John Mickel has refuted claims by the Opposition the Government is secretly trying to scrap the 8.34 cents per litre subsidy.

Mickel says he is committed to ensuring the transport industry is safe and efficient, referring to the investment in 52 new heavy vehicle rest areas over five years as part of a joint commonwealth-state initiative.

"In these new vehicle rest areas Main Roads will provide shelter sheds with tables and chairs and where trees exist [we] will retain as many as possible to provide shade," Mickel says.

"Main Roads will provide drinking water where it is cost-effective and its quality and safety can be guaranteed."

Mickel has also vowed to continue the "direct line of communication" between the industry and the Government, saying the Government is remains committed to the transport and logistics sector.

The Government has also denied claims made by the LNP truck drivers are being subjected to heavy handed tactics by enforcement officers.

"There is no evidence to support claims that truck drivers have been fined for minor work diary infringements," Mickel says.

He has backed linking demerit points to diary infringements, saying they are helping to keep tired drivers off the road.

"Since the introduction of demerit for fatigue offences in 2007, the number of log books and fatigue- related offences detected had decreased by about 22 percent," Mickel says.

He says fatigued drivers are as dangerous as those who get behind the wheel after drinking.

"If you are driving while fatigued it is the equivalent of driving with a large amount of alcohol in your system," Mickel says.

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