QLD Government to expand rest area network

Queensland Government announces plan to expand the State's rest area network

By Brad Gardner

The Queensland Government plans to expand the number of the State’s rest areas, with the announcement it will construct another 25 in the coming years.

Minister for Main Roads Warren Pitt says it is essential the Government builds more facilities to increase safety in the industry and to reduce the rate of fatigue-related accidents.

The Bligh Government has committed $6 million to build the first 11 of its 25 rest areas by 2010, with Pitt saying $3 million will come from the Safer Roads Sooner program to build six of the 11 areas.

"And a further $3 million has been allocated from other state sources to build another five rest areas in 2009-10," Pitt says.

"Two will be constructed on the Gregory Developmental Road, one on the Dawson Highway, one on the Carnarvon Highway and one on the Burnett Highway."

According to Pitt, the investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to helping truck drivers manage fatigue.

In constructing the rest areas, Pitt says the Government will focus on spreading the facilities about 80km apart.

He says he will contact trucking associations and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to assist the Government in deciding where to build future rest areas.

"The new heavy vehicle rest areas will be rolled out across the network as funds become available," Pitt says.

As well bankrolling the vital infrastructure itself, Pitt says he has applied to the Federal Government for funding for five new rest areas on the Warrego Highway and 10 new stops on the Bruce Highway.

"If this application is successful, combined with the work we are funding, we could have an extra 26 heavy vehicle rest areas on major economic routes in Queensland," Pitt says.

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