Truck drivers in South Australia will benefit from more and better roadside facilities, after the Federal and South Australian governments each agreed to provide around $4 million to improve the roads they use.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the new money would fund a range of improvements, including new rest areas on the Sturt, Stuart and Eyre Highways, 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 24 South Australian projects which have already received funding,” said Mr Albanese.
“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.
“For the first time, we’ve also set aside funding to improve safety at livestock saleyards and to upgrade other facilities used by the livestock transport industry.
“New loading ramps and upgrades to other cattle loading/unloading infrastructure will help truck drivers more safely unload cattle from their trucks, protecting both them and their families.
“In the coming years the local trucking industry will also benefit from our unprecedented investment in the State’s highways and the creation of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which has the powers to stamp out unsafe work practices and make sure drivers get a fair go.”
South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Tom Koutsantonis said the locations of five new rest areas and a further two to be upgraded were selected after consultation with the trucking industry.
“The State Government will match the Federal funding, with today’s announcement building on the 34 new rest areas we’ve already installed and the 26 rest areas we’ve upgraded on key freight routes in South Australia,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“Heavy vehicle traffic on our State roads is increasing with the continued expansion of our mineral resources and energy sector putting more trucks and trailers on our regional highways.
“Providing long-distance and heavy vehicle drivers with an opportunity to rest ensures that our main regional roads are safer for all users.
A full list of approved projects and a map showing their locations is attached.