Jul 5, 2011

Golden Highway: Cassilis rest area upgrade completed

Golden Highway: Cassilis rest area upgrade completed

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

5 July 2011

The extensive upgrade of the Cassilis rest area west of Merriwa has been completed, providing truck drivers and other users of the Golden Highway with a better, safer place to pull over and take a break or catch up on sleep.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Federal funding for the project came from the Gillard Labor Government’s $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

“Established by us in early 2008, it’s the first ever Federal program dedicated to rectifying an unacceptable lack of safe, modern roadside facilities along the nation’s highways,” said Mr Albanese.

“Across NSW, the Program will deliver 55 new and refurbished rest stops, 9 refurnished parking bays, complementing the record investment we’re making in the upgrading of the State’s highways.

“By working together as well as with the industry, the nation’s governments – Federal, state and territory – are providing truck drivers with more opportunities to get the rest they need, in turn making our roads safer for all users.”

The $318,000 upgrade was jointly funded by the Federal and NSW governments.

NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the upgrade involved laying a new road surface, improving the local drainage as well as installing toilet facilities and extra picnic tables.

“Located along the Highway’s westbound side about 47 kilometres outside of Merriwa, the Cassilis rest area is mainly used by trucks drivers, many of whom are behind the wheel of large, oversize vehicles,” said Mr Gay.

“Last year in NSW, fifteen people were killed in crashes involving trucks, with fatigue a factor in many of them. We must do more to prevent these tragedies – and without doubt, providing new and upgrade rest stops is an investment in safer roads.”

The upgraded site meets National Transport Commission guidelines and is part of the RTA’s strategy to improve access to rest areas along key rural freight routes.