Goodaye all, Monday and Tuesday in Canberra for the inaugural meeting of the Truck Rest Area Steering Committee. All ten members attended and whilst we discussed many things, some with passion, there was never a raised voice or heated word. There was some frustration, some of the things we would all like to see fixed and or improved, are “outside the remit of the committee”.
This is of course government speak for “you can only affect the things the committee is charged with acting on”, but we had some others attending from other areas and whilst the other things raised cannot be acted on directly by us, we can always hope there are those who can and who will. But no guarantees.
Did we solve all the issues of the last 20 years, of course not, no one can in two days after having states and others ignore us for the last 20. Am I positive we can see change? I think all members want to see it, we had a wide enough group, but not too many to find agreement on most things, we know what is needed, the thing now is to keep pushing and working towards a set of guidelines and then push those hard.
Will we fix it in a year, no. Will we all be trying, yes. To any who can do better, please let me know how. The funding is there, the need is overwhelmingly there and we just need the right focus and effort from states, local councils and of course, the road authorities to act. If I could have a bobcat and a month and permission, (which will never happen), I could fix some things in the short term, but we need that and long term solutions as well. So we will see.
Starting work in the middle of the week can be fun, when the trailers are not ready and things have not gone to my plan, then it can be a real bugger and so from finally getting to work, finishing loading trailers and hitting the road Wednesday evening, I was running all week to make it work. Dubbo to Shepparton, to Melbourne, to Sydney and then home Saturday morning to spend a few quality hours doing some of the things Ion the trailers I had hoped would be done while I was off did again, not win me friends at home.
But the truck got serviced and the new wings fitted and another few hours today and the Ecofins are now fitted on both sides, but still the top of the cab to do. With some more work on the trailers, a few more jobs on the truck to complete and I should have this set just perfect in time for the new ones, once we can agree on the configuration.
Have some more jobs to do, audio books and an NRFA report, so will talk to you all next week. Cheers and Safe Travelling, Rod Hanifey.