Infrastructure, Transport Industry News

Tasmanian parties promise transport funding ahead of election

Transport funding

The Tasmanian Transport Association (TTA) has responded to transport funding promises from both the Liberal and Labor state governments ahead of the upcoming state election.

Set to be held this coming Saturday, March 23, the two major parties are both eyeing off significant investment into the state’s transport sector if elected.

The Labor party has promised improvements to the state’s roads and transport infrastructure.

Labor leader Bec White spoke at Epping Forest in front of the Tasmanian Truck Driver’s Memorial Wall to announce the party’s election plans for transport funding.

This included an additional $40 million for road maintenance, the development of a 10-year action plans for the Bass, Tasman and Huon Highways, investment in an industry-led model for heavy vehicle driver development and support for improved safety at rail level crossings.

TTA chairman John de Bruyn welcomes the commitment to better facilities for heavy vehicle drivers, both on and off the road.

A further $5m has been committed to heavy vehicle driver rest areas around the state including Epping Forest, toilets at Longford, and investment in the Open Road Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing program.

“Investment in Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Areas with toilets on Tasmanian freight routes is a key contributor to road safety for our truck drivers, who perform a critical role for Tasmanian businesses, communities, and the Tasmanian economy,” de Bruyn says.

“We also welcome the announcement of ongoing funding for the Open Road program, which we are delivering in partnership with RAW, and the support for TTA’s Workforce Plan including our Drive Your Future campaign.

“TTA’s industry led program for developing the professional heavy vehicle drivers of the future is an initiative we have been working on for some time and we are pleased to hear from Bec White that a Tasmanian Labor government will support our efforts in this bringing this, and TTA’s ongoing workforce plans, to fruition.”

The Liberal government meanwhile has promised $250,000 of funding into establishing Tasmania’s first industry-led heavy vehicle driver development program to provide valuable training to the next generation of truck drivers in an effort to close the skill gap.

It is also pledging $440,000 towards the state’s freight industry in the form of workforce development, and $100,000 on transition planning for carbon reduction and resilience.

The Liberal party is also supporting the Open Road program, promising $400,000 of funding towards it. de Bruyn welcomes both parties making transport an election priority.

“There is also a further investment, including the Drive Your Future campaign which will highlight career opportunities including a formal Truck Driving Apprenticeship and a Schools Development Pathway,” he says.

“As well as this, the Liberals have undertaken to invest some $100,000 for research and development toward a clear transition plan for carbon emissions reduction and to work with the Commonwealth to continue to invest in Rest Areas for Heavy Vehicle Drivers, building on the Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Area Strategy.

“These initiatives cannot come a day too soon and I am delighted the Liberals have listened to our calls to assist in these areas.

“Should there be a Liberal government, we look forward to working with them on these important measures to support the Tasmanian transport sector.”

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