Sep 17, 2012

A Win for Heavy Vehicle Safety

Today I am announcing an extra $10 million in funding for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP), taking the Federal Labor Government’s total investment in roadside facilities to $220 million.

I have also expanded eligible projects under this program to include rural and regional heavy vehicle infrastructure and demonstration projects to support safer practices across the sector.

This comes after the Parliament struck down Warren Truss’ attempt to disallow proposed changes to the Road User Charge.

In what can only be described as an embarrassing performance, Warren Truss revealed he doesn’t actually understand how the Road User Charge works – a policy written by his own party.

What’s extraordinary is that this policy was first introduced by the Howard Government when Warren Truss was a Cabinet Minister. 

The latest annual adjustment, supported by all Coalition State Governments simply reflects the fact that this Labor Government has more than doubled the Federal roads budget.

Warren Truss’ failure to grasp just how the Road User Charge works speaks for itself. He has no idea how roads are built but he wouldn’t as he’s never actually built one.

Together with annual registration fees, the Road User Charge ensures the trucking industry pays its share of the investment that has been made over the previous seven years.

Warren Truss’ motion would have risked the future of the HVSPP. It would have put at risk hundreds of new rest stops, parking areas and decoupling bays – facilities that truck drivers rely upon to take a break, catch up on sleep and check their vehicles.

The HVSPP is all about funding practical measures to reduce risk and improve road safety for truck drivers and all who share the roads with the big rigs.