Jun 30, 2009

‘Truckie’ decoupling bay on the way on Victoria

‘Truckie’ decoupling bay on the way on Victoria

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

30 June 2009

Planning work will soon begin on a new decoupling bay for truck drivers at Nhill.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, and Victorian Minister for Roads and Ports, Tim Pallas, today announced their governments would each provide $5.7 million to construct this new roadside facility.

"Upon taking office, the Rudd Labor Government readily acknowledged the lack of safe, modern facilities along the nation’s highways," said Mr Albanese.

"Since then we have been working with the trucking industry, as well as state and territory governments, to begin fixing this unacceptable situation.

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

The first $30 million installment from the Program is funding 55 new and upgrade rest stops; 16 new and refurbished parking/decoupling bays; and 80 bridge assessments and upgrades.

Mr Pallas said this investment will go a long way towards improving safety for heavy vehicles and other road users.

"By working together, the Federal and Victorian governments are providing truck drivers with a major decoupling bay in Nhill, providing them with a facility to conduct safely check on their loads and change trailers," said Mr Pallas.

"Once completed this new decoupling bay will accommodate up to 80 trucks, with flexibility for it to be expanded further in order to accommodate 120 trucks."

Every year more than 200 people are killed in road crashes nationally involving heavy vehicles – 15-20 per cent of all road deaths.

The states and territories will soon be invited to apply for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program’s remaining $40 million.