Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has announced that  the Federal Government will boost funding for Australian heavy vehicle safety programs will with the launch of Round Six of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI).

Mr.McCormack said the Federal Government had provided $5.55 million to back submissions from community and industry groups to improve heavy vehicle safety on Australian roads.

“The Federal Government is again showing our support for heavy vehicle projects delivered by groups that want to make our roads and heavy vehicle operations even safer,” Mr McCormack said.

“If you have a project, program or campaign that will increase safety awareness and compliance that requires funding or support to make it happen, we want to hear from you.

“Through this program, the Federal Government has delivered $22.8 million for 89 grants over the past five years, including Industry Codes of Practice, specialist heavy vehicle safety information for farmers, caravaners, shippers and learner drivers, as well as training tools such as simulators.

“This is ultimately about saving lives and making our roads safer.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the funding for 2021-22 was a record for the program and showed the Federal Government was serious about heavy vehicle safety.

“There are some clever people with some clever ideas on how to improve road safety that just need some support to deliver those programs,” Mr Buchholz said.

“I know that Governments and regulators don’t have all the answers when it comes to road safety, which is why we’re calling on groups to put forward their value-for-money projects and ideas for consideration.

“I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some great programs across the country benefit from this funding, including livestock loading frames, and support for driver physical and mental health and wellbeing, which was important for drivers managing the stress and restriction in place during the pandemic.”

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the HVSI program received 59 applications for funding last year and he looked forward to even more in this round.

“This year the NHVR has suggested that submissions address one of the following three themes – Safer drivers, Safer vehicles and Safer road use – to align with state, territory and Commonwealth road safety plans,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“I look forward to seeing another wide range of safety ideas delivered by a diverse group of stakeholder groups prepared to create solutions to make our roads safer.”

Applications for round six funding are open until 12 February 2021. Projects must be implementable, commence in the 2021-22 financial year and be completed by 30 June 2024.