WA industry and union hail truck stop pledge

Liberal shadow transport minister pledges $20 million if his party wins WA election

WA industry and union hail truck stop pledge
Libby Mettam


With the Western Australian election campaign now in full swing, with opposition parties are getting the transport industry to sit up and take notice with a truck-stop pledge.

With $900 million in spending pledges under a Regional Roads Safety Program outlined by underdog opposition leader Zak Kirkup, shadow transport minister Libby Mettam chips in with $20 million to improve roadside amenities for truck drivers.

"We absolutely welcome the announcement of the WA Liberals election promise to invest in truck driver rest area facilities," Western Roads Federation Cam Dumesny says.

"Investment in road side facilities for our industry truck drivers are decades overdue."

The state Transport Workers Union (TWU) branch also gave the pledges the thumbs up.

 "By improving amenities this will also go a long way to improve driver fatigue."  TWU WA state secretary Tim Dawson says, while also backing the broad range of promised spending.

"Our long-distance driver members at the TWU know all too well the risks associated with fatigue and having a proper place to stop. It is imperative that when fatigue breaks are mandated, that governments make sure there are adequate facilities for drivers to rest."

"This money should also go towards upgrading current road train assembly areas and truck rest areas, to make sure the road network in Western Australia has adequate rest areas and that they are clean.

"It is government's responsibility that the most basic of human rights is afforded to transport workers."

TWU WA has been in ongoing discussions with the state government and we expect an announcement shortly of funding to improve truck driver rest areas and Road Train Assembly Areas (RTAAs) with a list of priorities.

It says it "commends the WA Liberal Party and calls upon politicians of all political persuasions to not only promise to improve truck rest stops during an election, but to make sure they have an ongoing program to improve RTAAs into the future".

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"In a state the size of WA, freight trucks are vital for our economy and ensuring drivers have proper rest facilities, with the means to be able to communicate home from often very isolated areas, is imperative for both their physical and mental well-being, along with the safety of all road users," Mettam says.

Other promises include $40 million for overtaking lanes, particularly on high-volume regional roads such as Albany Highway, the Great Eastern Highway and the South West and South Coast highways and $1 million to examine future investment opportunities for developing transport intermodal and innovation hubs at Muchea, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie.

"There is increasing recognition of the need for an integrated freight network throughout WA to make sure we aren’t duplicating key infrastructure while also supporting new technologies," Mettam says.

"We will commit to making sure any intermodal terminals create optimal connectivity between our existing road, rail and port facilities both now and into the future."


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