Almost 100 new or refurbished truck stops by mid-year: Albanese

Transport minister says federally-funded rest area program will have delivered 95 new and refurbished rest stops by middle of year

May 11, 2012

Almost 100 new and refurbished rest areas will be built by the middle of this year, with the promise of more to come under a federally-funded scheme targeted at the trucking industry.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, started in 2008-09 and extended until 2019, will have funded 236 projects by mid-2012.

He says this includes 95 new and refurbished rest stops as well as 45 new and upgraded parking/decoupling bays.

"In addition, money from the program has also been used to open up more of the nation’s road network through targeted projects such as the strengthening of bridges which can deliver big time and fuel savings, with drivers able to take shorter, more direct routes to their destinations," Albanese says.

The Federal Budget, handed down on Tuesday, allocated another $140 million to the program.

Funding for the program was due to expire this year. The budget allocates $10 million to be spent next financial year and another $30 million in 2013-14.

The government will spend $20 million annually between 2014-15 and 2018-19.

Albanese says the government has been working closely with industry stakeholders to improve safety and productivity, saying the latest cash injection will lead to fewer fatigued truck drivers.

"But we know there’s more to do," he says.

"As the federal Transport Minister I will continue to work with the trucking industry to lessen the regulatory burden on operators, improve safety for drivers and make sure the rewards go to those that play by the rules."

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