Australia, Roadworks, Transport News

Federal government announces $6.7 million rest area funding

At least four states will start with major rest area projects for heavy vehicles under the new federal government funding

The federal government has announced a spree of truck driver rest area funding around Australia to improve road safety and productivity around the nation.

The nearly $6.7 million in federal government funding is the government’s first part of its $140 million Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas Program, which aims to increase heavy vehicle user safety and productivity through vital new and upgraded rest areas across their journey.

“Without our truckies Australia stops,” federal assistant transport minister Carol Brown says.

“The federal government supports truck drivers and we are committed to keeping them, and other road users, safe through programs like the Heavy Rest Area initiative.

“We want to support our hard-working truck drivers to rest when they need to and keep freight moving safely and that’s why this government supporting new and upgraded heavy vehicle rest areas.”

The funding starts in Queensland, where the rest area facility at the eastern approach to Roma on the Warrego Highway will be upgraded with $1.12 million from the federal government and $280,000 from the Maranoa Regional Council.

In Tasmania, the truck stop upgrade on Glenstone Road/Strong Street at Bridgewater will be funded with $360,000 from the federal government and $90,000 from Brighton Council.

In South Australia, the $3.8 million Salt Creek Rest Area project will deliver five parking bays, a unisex toilet block, a metal shade structure and picnic tables.

The federal government is providing $3.04 million for this project while the South Australian government will provide $760,000.

In Victoria, 35 Truck Informal Rest Areas (TIRAs) will be sealed and green reflectors installed on four highways within Gippsland, with $2.168 million from the federal government and $542,000 from the Victorian government.

Under the initiative, state governments and local councils are eligible to apply for federal government funding of up to $5 million per project.

The projects must be co-funded, with the federal government providing up to 80 per cent of costs for projects in regional areas and up to 50 per cent of costs for projects in urban areas.

A steering committee has been established to ensure the road transport industry and drivers have a voice in the project designs under the initiative.

“Projects under this initiative will also create construction jobs and opportunities for local suppliers and businesses, boosting local economies and driving their growth,” Brown says.

“I thank the Chair of the HVRA steering committee Glenn Sterle, and the HVRA Steering Committee members for sharing their time and experience to assess the strategic need criterion and look forward to their contribution in assessing the same criterion in the next tranche.”

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