Joan clashes with bureaucrats over Trucka Tucka

Future of food service for truck drivers hinges on satisfying bureaucrats it is not a traffic hazard

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | November 2, 2012

The future of a popular food service helping truck drivers grab a feed and comply with fatigue management laws hinges on satisfying bureaucrats it is not a traffic hazard.

Joan Redfern has been selling fresh-made hot food under the banner of Joan’s Trucka Tucka at the Gowan rest area on the Newell Highway for the past three months.

But the RMS served her a trial notice last month, giving her until January to prove her service is not endangering drivers.

"I’ve been told that if no one has an accident on the highway then I shouldn’t have a problem," she says.

"We are running a book here at the moment, a comment book, so that I can present it to the RMS and we haven’t had one bad comment out of the 600 comments in the past month.

Redfern, whose husband is a truck driver, has told the RMS "to butt out", saying she is trying to supply a service to truck drivers to help them do their jobs.

"They [the RMS] want these drivers to follow the logbook but I want the RMS to start realising that if they’re going to tell these guys they need to pull up and have their break, they need to provide services to them like food and drinks," she says.

An RMS spokesperson says the vending of business in rest areas is subject to council approval.

"Joan’s Trucka Tucka at the Gowan rest area has been given approval to operate for an initial four-month period by Warrumbungle Shire Council," the spokesperson says.

"The conditions of approval stipulate the business can only operate during the day and in the northbound rest area only."

The RMS has installed a sign to alert motorists of the upcoming facilities in the rest area.

"Council, RMS, and the business owner have worked together to facilitate the operation of Joan’s Trucka Tucka while ensuring road user safety," the spokesperson says.

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