19th July 2020 Borders and Roads.

Goodaye all. Biggest issues of the week, delays at the border into NSW at Albury, seemingly just for fun and our roads. Why trucks were sent into Grass Tree parking bay for fun coming northbound out of Melbourne when we were separated from cars and allowed to remain on the highway at Beveridge (though I believe this was changed later) and then qued with all the cars and then let through after queuing for no reason at Albury, seemed to fly in the face of all the comments that trucks would not be unduly delayed.

Half an hour or more qued with all the cars, to then be simply let through, seemed to simply be bad traffic management. I have spoken with the ATA and hope they will have had some more access to and weight, with the authorities. If they want to stop us or inspect some, then do so if you must, but don’t hold every truck up for nothing and then let them through.

Surely we have enough trouble with having all the states wanting to be different, must they play games and simply keep this up instead of at the very least, agreeing on one type or set of forms for border crossings. Yes it came hard and fast, this infection, yes they made mistakes as we do, but it is not hard to work out surely.

One of the things I have a problem with is where our roads money goes. Do we get good value from it and whilst you and I must comply to the absolute letter of the law, who holds large corporations to account for the roads and the failures. The new overtaking lane south of Peak Hill failed within two weeks. We did not damage it by driving over it, it damaged our trucks by failing, yet will we be expected to pay for it again and then will they want more money from us for “damaging” this bit of “road”.

No one will be foolish enough to either guarantee or deny, that all the money we pay for the use of and supposed wear and tear caused by trucks, goes into the roads. How much or what percentage does, we will probably never know, but much is siphoned off into consolidated revenue. Now that may be for important things like hospitals and schools, but that is not what it is intended for, nor are we told, charged for.

We are a service industry, yes a few companies even make a profit, but every cost to us increases the cost of transport to those outside of capital cities where they have much better roads and simply it seems, few recognise what roll transport plays in the life of all Australians, particularly those away from major centres.

Until two things happen, we, those who use the roads for work and to deliver that service to all Australians, will be short changed, overcharged and still have to travel on roads that risk our lives. We will never have, nor do I expect, perfect smooth roads everywhere. I have said before and will again, we have a large country and a small population, but we must get good value, we must get the best roads we can afford and we must all be able to travel on them as safely as possible. Do You Agree???

So why must I spend hours every week making lists of road failures, ringing and emailing road authorities asking them to fix things? Perhaps some think they are the only people I ring and take offence, none is intended from me. Perhaps they think I have no right to complain. Perhaps they think their road crews know better than those of us who have to drive on these roads day after day when they are not up to standard, where failures risk our lives, destroy our vehicles, damage our bodies and increase our risk and our fatigue, again when they don’t need rest areas, so they are not important enough to answer questions on either.

Am I pissed off, you bet. Five years asking for one section south of Yelarbon to be fixed, major failures near roadworks where millions was wasted and is now being done again south of Aratula, rest areas lost everywhere, made worse when told will be returned to previous at Warrill View and culverts on the Newell south of Forbes that try to tear the steer axle out of the truck, to be told in might be fixed months away.

Again, I offer any who wish to dispute my claims to show me I am wrong, to tell me they understand or care and have done something about it. Come for a trip and I will change your views.

The two things we need? To recognise the road as our workplace and to have a National Road Standard, agreed to by all and mandated that it must be maintained and that there be value for the money spent, not millions in profits for those who do the work, but don’t have to LIVE ON THE ROAD.

Ending on a positive note, two new videos, Caravans and Roadtrains and Part Two Facilities released this week. You can view them here Part 1 – https://vimeo.com/403558192

Part 2 – https://vimeo.com/406836007 or at http://www.sharetheroad.net.au If you agree with the content, please share them with your friends and contacts. If we even prevent one crash and maybe even save a life, it will have cost you nothing more than a minute of your time, to help achieve such a marvellous outcome. Thanks and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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