Governments must do more on rest areas: LNP

Queensland rest areas are unacceptable, according to the LNP, which is calling for more work to be done

By Brad Gardner | May 21, 2010

The state of rest areas in Queensland is unacceptable, according to the state’s Opposition, which is calling for more work to be done to help truck drivers.

Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss has urged Transport Minister Rachel Nolan to support more stops for drivers.

He says one area in the region of Gatton south-west of Brisbane only has a stop on one side of the road.

"It is just about full every night. There is ample room on the other side for another truck stop to be provided. These are the sorts of facilities that we require so that truck drivers can have a safer working environment," Rickuss says.

He says dangerous goods operators are particular affected by a lack of rest areas and has raised the issue previously.

"If their transports turn up at a truck stop and there is another dangerous goods vehicle there they cannot stop at that truck stop. There are some real anomalies that do need to be worked on," Rickuss says.

"We have to realise that it is imperative on us as governments through private enterprise to provide safe truck stops for the operators to be able to stop safely, have appropriate rest, have a shower, brighten themselves up, have proper food intake and move on."

Gregory MP Vaughan Johnson wants a greater focus on helping the livestock sector comply with fatigue management laws.

Johnson, whose electorate is in far west Queensland near the South Australian border, says livestock carriers find it hard to comply with limits on driving hours.

"When they load cattle in some of our western areas it is completely impossible to cart those cattle from anywhere further north than Blackall to the markets in the south-east in the timeframe allotted," Johnson says.

He says the problem is exacerbated during hot days because livestock cannot be carted due to animal welfare laws.

"The RSPCA and those types of organisations will not support stock standing around in the midday sun due to the driving hours regulations," Johnson says.

"I think something that has to be looked at in relation to the livestock industry is where those blokes loaded, whether they are progressing satisfactorily and getting those cattle off. They are not going to be driving against the rules."

Johnson criticised the state of a heavy vehicle rest area near Mitchell, almost 600 kilometres west of Brisbane.

He says there is not enough room for livestock drivers to pull over and unhook their trailers because general freight drivers park their trucks in a disorganised way.

"My suggestion would be to allow livestock drivers to go to Mitchell, which is only another six kilometres up the road, and let them unhook there, where there are lights in the yards and what have you, and let the freight drivers do their operation six kilometres out of Mitchell," Johnson says.

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