Vic Roads funds VTA drug and alcohol pilot project

Vic Roads funds Victorian Transport Association-initiated drug and alcohol “pilot project” incorporating counselling and rehabilitation

By Samantha Freestone | February 26, 2010

Vic Roads is funding a Victorian Transport Association (VTA) initiated drug and alcohol "pilot project" for three-and-a-half years that incorporates counselling and rehabilitation into the standard random testing strategy.

The pilot is officially called ‘The Drug and Alcohol Pilot Project’ and is managed by drug testing company Work Options—headed up by Commercial Manager David Castledine.

Castledine says in mid-2009 Work Options and the VTA came together to put together the pilot and then approached VicRoads to help structure and fund the program.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) was advised of the pilot and "appraised and examined" the program, he confirms.

"It is very much a systems approach. This way you incorporate education, identifying people who need help and offering that help and rehabilitation if need be.

"Rather than condemning them you are helping them which a great starting point towards stamping out the problem.

"When you combine that with a well-trained workforce, it is a deterrent," he says.

Minister for Roads and Ports Tim Pallas has thrown his support behind the move, meeting with parties involved in the project yesterday outside Parliament House for a meet and greet following the fourth and final test companies induction into the program.

Pallas says the Government supports the efforts of the industry to put in place responsible systems for drug testing in the workplace.

"We recognise the road is their workplace and drug testing of drivers ensures safer roads for everyone," he says.

Carriers involved in the pilot include Australia Air Express, Freestones Transport, Chalmers Industries and Border Express.

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