Steering Committee holds first meeting

The Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Steering Committee held its first meeting in Canberra last week.

The meeting saw truck drivers directly informing decisions that will impact their work for the first time, through increasing access to new or improved heavy vehicle rest areas.

The members also discussed their priorities for the roll-out of the Government’s $140 million commitment to the building or upgrading of rest areas for heavy vehicles.

According to the Federal Government, the Committee is working on the guidelines for the funding program and are aiming to have them finalised in the coming months.

The Federal Government finalised the Steering Committee earlier this year, where it was announced that Senator Glenn Sterle would be joined by four organisational representatives.

These representatives are Michelle Harwood, Tasmanian Transport Association Executive Director; Rod Hannifey, National Road Freighters Association President; John Beer, former President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association; and Paul Ryan, Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds Board Member.

The organisational representatives were joined by five truck drivers selected through an expression of interest process.

These drivers are Kellie Boland from Victoria, Bruce Skelton from Queensland, Frank Black (Arcidiaco) from South Australia, Heather Jones from Western Australia, and Craig Forsyth from New South Wales.

Steering Committee Chair, Senator Glenn Sterle, said heavy vehicle drivers are vital for keeping the country running.

“The Committee is hoping to hear directly from truckies about where they think there are gaps in the rest area network,” he said.

“During the pandemic when our truckies worked around the clock to ensure people across the country continued to receive the things they needed to keep them safe and well.”

Assistant Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Carol Brown, was also at the first meeting.

“It was a real privilege to attend part of the first day of the Committee’s meeting,” she said.

“The shared knowledge and experience of members of the Committee will deliver heavy vehicle rest areas in the most efficient locations.”

The Steering Committee was originally announced in December last year.

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