May 26, 2010

Phoney Tony ditches promise to build extra rest stops

Phoney Tony ditches promise to build extra rest stops

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 26 2010

The Federal Opposition has abandoned its promise to build 500 new rest stops along the nation’s highways, exposing the duplicitous nature of the comments made by the Leader of the National Party Warren Truss.

Documents released last week by the Shadow Finance Minister Andrew Robb confirm the extra rest stops are NOT a commitment the Liberal and National parties will honour if elected later this year – see attachment.

According to Mr Robb, Mr Truss’s $300 million promise has “been discontinued.”

Under the leadership of Phoney Tony, Mr Truss and his National Party colleagues have been treating the trucking industry and truck drivers like mugs: telling them one thing to their faces while doing the complete opposite when they think no one is looking.

On 23 April 2009, Mr Truss in a written-down, fully scripted speech to the Australian Trucking Convention unambiguously said:

“We will build an additional 500 road side stops over 10 years at an approximate cost of $300 million…”

This undertaking was subsequently incorporated into the official policy platform of the Nationals (page 23) after being endorsed by its Federal Council last August:

“We will fund the construction of 500 new roadside stops for our truck drivers.”

We now know this “promise” from Mr Truss was a sham, further proof that even when Liberal and National MPs make carefully prepared and scripted promises they still cannot be trusted.

For our part, the Rudd Labor Government has been working with the trucking industry, as well as state and territory governments, to begin fixing the unacceptable lack of safe, modern facilities along the nation’s highways.

In fact, our new $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program is delivering the biggest single Federal investment in the roadside facilities used by truck drivers, including new and refurbished rest stops.