A NEW $2 million government allocation for two truck rest areas on the Princes Highway between Heywood and the South Australian border is only a drop in the bucket, Glenelg Shire Council mayor Karen Stephens has declared.
“I would have liked to have seen that money spent on the road surface,” Cr Stephens told The Standard.
“We are grateful for the money, but rest areas are only part of the solution and council will continue to campaign for a major allocation.
“This road is the major funnel to the Portland port area and an important export freight route carrying thousands of trucks.
“Our shire has been campaigning about the bad condition of the whole Heywood to South Australian section for some time.”
One new rest area will be constructed and an existing one east of Dartmoor will be upgraded using $1m from the state and $1m from Canberra as part of government efforts to reduce driver fatigue.
Infrastructure and Tran-sport Minister Anthony Albanese said the funding was part of the first-ever dedicated federal response to the lack of safe, modern rest stops on major highways. “Fewer fatigued truck drivers behind the wheel will help make our roads safer for everyone,” Mr Albanese said.
More than $230,000 has also been allocated for improvements at loading areas at south-west saleyards.
Corangamite Shire scored $132,000 to upgrade four unloading ramps and a loading ramp at Camperdown regional saleyards, with $33,000 to come from the council.
Warrnambool City received $68,546 for installation of lighting in the cattle receiving area at the Caramut Road yards. About $17,136 of that money will come from the city council.
Glenelg Shire received $31,600 for the lift mechanism on the main cattle ramp at the Casterton saleyards, electric winch in the sheep area, extra flood lighting and to fix two loading ramps. The council will contribute $7900.
Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the projects were selected following consultation with the trucking industry.