The following is my overall reply to comments on Glen Sterle’s Facebook page, regarding funding for truck rest areas. As at the bottom, have any of you spoken, emailed or even raised this or any other transport issue, with your local candidates? Will you? If you don’t, will they even know of these issues, unlikely? I am not telling you or anyone how to vote, or who to vote for. As I have done, my local bloke is in government now, but I have put him on notice, these issues may influence how I vote. He could ignore me, but not hundreds of others who raise the same concerns, or will at his peril. If they don’t listen, then are they there for you and your problems?
We have all been told what a marvelous job we have done carrying the country through all this, but honestly, what have we got, bad roads, (yes councils too have staff and covid issues, but the road is our “unrecognised” workplace and it is OUR LIVES at risk) fines, delays, a ludicrous and virtually ignored “national freight protocal” and what did they do to our truckstops, closed them, opened them after we complained, then let police browbeat servos, staff and truckies who tried to eat. So we and want stuff done, yes we as truckies have been promised and told it will be fixed, but please show me anyone else who has had a goo and some success, as Glen has.
If you have a solution, if you have a local candidate who will help you and us, let me know, because I don’t know of one yet. I do not expect to change the outcome, I just want a fair go and some money for truck rest areas is to me, a good start.
Goodaye all, I will not answer everyone separately, but want to make a few things clear. I have never before seen or heard of any government, that will put up this sort of money for truck rest areas and I believe Glen when he tells me it is set to be available in the first budget. I agree it will not fix all our issues, but it is a good start and it will be decided by drivers as it says, not by pollies. It will not all go on new sites, there are a range of activities, from dealing with local councils to allow truck parking in industrial areas (for example like in Heathwood, where as in Sydney you will get a ticket) dealing with councils to try and arrange use of suitable stockpile sites, upgrading some sites and even providing some green reflector bays where there are large gaps now. Yes, one big need is Clybucca, but to simply spend all the money there or in two great big sites, will only help a few. We will seek input from drivers, we will have a plan ready for when the funding will be available, tentatively November if they are elected. I have sent an email to my local member, a Nat, asking if he is aware of the Senate Inquiry into a Safe and Viable Road Transport Industry and asked why not a single one of the recommendations has been even considered by the current government. I have asked him to match both the Labor offer and to support implementation of the inquiry recommendations, but have not yet received a reply. I said his answers may influence how I vote. I would ask all of you, how many of you have asked your member what they will do for us? You are more then welcome to comment here, but how many of you will make the effort to put pressure on any or every person nominating for your vote? If you don’t, who will? If they are not even aware of the inquiry recommendations, how are they likely to support them and yes, they include the need for more truck rest areas. It will not fix it overnight, it will be a start and if the success Glen has had getting toilets cleaned etc is anything to go by, he won’t quit early either. How many of you have had a fuel company listen to you? No one can fix it all, someone has to try and make a start and if no one else makes any effort, except on social media, what do you think will change? Push and ask and seek your local member to do something, ANYTHING for road transport and we might just achieve something. Rod Hannifey.