The ATA has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement int eh lead up tot he election that promises an additional $2.2 billion in road safety funding which the truck operators body chair Geoff Crouch says will help save lives and enable the delivery of important safety initiatives.
“The announcement from the PM and deputy PM Michael McCormack and treasurer Josh Frydenberg outlines a commitment to delivering practical solutions that will improve safety outcomes on our roads,” Mr Crouch said.
“The ATA has long called for additional resources to implement life-saving initiatives, and this funding commitment is a step in the right direction,” he said.
The ATA says the $2.2 billion will deliver $274 million for heavy vehicle safety and rest areas, an additional $1.1 billion under the Roads to Recovery program, and a further $12 million for road safety innovation.
Part of the government announcement sees a new Office of Road Safety being established, which will lead key road safety priorities, working closely with state, territory and local governments.
The announcement follows discussions the ATA says it has has held with Deputy PM McCormack and with Treasurer Frydenberg, which brought trucking industry leaders together to share their views and discuss key industry issues.
It also follows an ATA submission into the Inquiry on the National Road Safety Strategy.
“In our submission, the ATA called for an independent national agency that would provide policy advice to strengthen the national focus on improving road safety. The establishment of this body is welcome news,” Mr Crouch said.
“We’re also pleased to see a commitment to improving heavy vehicle rest areas and research initiatives, issues the ATA has passionately advocated for and highlighted in the submission,” he said.
Mr Crouch says the ATA made 19 recommendations to the inquiry, and that it was encouraging to see the Government consider some of these in developing the budget.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all have an important role to play. This funding announcement shows a willingness to take proactive action,” he said.