The Tasmanian Government has launched a strategy that will improve rest area facilities for heavy vehicle drivers on the state’s key freight routes.
The Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Area Strategy outlines a long-term approach to planning and investment in a safe operating environment for the Tasmanian road freight sector.
Tasmania’s freight and road transport systems underpin the state’s business activity and are key to our economic recovery and growth.
This sector provides an essential service to many critical parts of the Tasmanian economy, including agriculture, aquaculture, construction, emergency and recovery management, energy, forestry, manufacturing, mining, retail and much more, with freight volumes forecast to increase by 35 per cent over the next 20 years.
Managing driver fatigue and keeping workers safe is vital, and the strategy, developed in consultation with the Tasmanian Transport Association, identifies priorities for the upgrade of existing infrastructure and the establishment of new facilities.
The Tasmanian and Australian governments have committed a total of $5 million to implement the strategy, with the first five rest areas already in the design stage and construction on the first expected to start in the first half of 2021. These include:
Concept designs for a further 14 sites are expected to be completed by mid-next year with another 18 sites identified for inclusion in future road infrastructure projects.
Providing infrastructure to support drivers is a key contribution to the industry’s efficient operations by helping them meet their needs for rest, breaks, and load and vehicle checks. The facilities will also support the industry’s efforts to attract and retain the workforce needed for the future.