The Federal and NSW Governments will partner with the trucking industry to provide $30 million to build even more and better roadside facilities for the thousands of long distance truck drivers that use the State’s highways every day.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the new money will be used to upgrade rest areas, improve signage along the state’s highways and trial smart technologies, making it safer for drivers to take a break or reconfigure their trailers.
“These projects have been approved under the $220 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, and build on the 72 projects which have received funding in NSW in previous rounds,” he said.
“Established by this Labor Government shortly after coming to office in late 2007, this Program is the first ever significant Federal response to the lack of safe, modern rest stops along the nation’s highways.
“Fewer fatigued truck drivers behind the wheel makes our roads safer for everyone.”
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said for the first time, funding has also been set aside to improve safety at livestock saleyards and to upgrade other facilities used by the livestock transport industry.
“Around $5.7 million will be used to upgrade 33 ramps, 27 loading pens as well as lighting in 9 facilities, protecting drivers involved in transporting livestock,” he said.
NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay said the projects were selected following extensive consultation with the trucking industry.
“Since winning office in early 2011, the O’Farrell/Stoner Government has worked closely with industry associations such as ATA NSW, NatRoad and Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association of NSW to improve road freight productivity and heavy vehicle safety outcomes in our state.
“NSW carries more than 60 per cent of the national road freight task – we are a ‘through state’ – so joint funding initiatives of this nature are welcomed,” Mr Gay said.
“As a grazier myself, it’s particularly pleasing to see funding for a range of livestock transport projects.”