Why Don’t We Build More Rest Areas?

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We have heard a series of promises in this election campaign about road transport related spending, but the question is, when money becomes available, why don’t  we build more rest areas?

This video shows what can be done when we think about it properly. This facility in Coolgardie is something well built and well thought out. Thought has gone into the design and the facility has the right services available nearby.

It’s not about the money, so much as about the political will. Back in 2018 the Australian Government admitted it only spent $46.4 million of its $60 million budget for truck rest areas and other productivity projects in the previous year. Why?

The admission of guilt was buried on page 30 of the Treasury portfolio budget statement that year. The people who hold the purse strings had agreed to the spend, it was in the coffers sitting there waiting to improve the lot of interstate truck drivers. 

Imagine the thought process, when compared to a married couple who have allocated, or borrowed, something like $30,000 to renovate their house with a new kitchen, new bathroom and a deck outside. That money is sitting there and they decide they are not going to bother to renovate the bathroom, even though they have the money to do it. Most people would regard that decision as madness.

Now, take that same thought into the decision-making process to build new parking bays and road train assembly areas. The money is sitting there, but you are not going to spend it. Or, as happened recently at Gatton in Queensland, you build a road train assembly area several kilometres from anywhere, and don’t bother putting any facilities like toilets there.

We can only come to one conclusion, they just don’t care. The couple renovating the house are going to do the full renovation because it will improve their lives. The apparatchiks, either at federal, state or local government level clearly don’t give a damn.

Can we be certain the latest set of promises are going to be fulfilled properly, this time around?

Safer highways with drivers who are not suffering from fatigue are clearly not a priority. Well lit, flat areas to avoid accidents during road train assembly are not on the radar. How do we get these fundamentals on the radar?

why don’t  we build more rest areas?

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