Steering committee announced for $140 million rest area initiative

The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on the $140 million heavy vehicle rest area initiative and has finalised the membership of the steering committee.

Heavy vehicle drivers in Australia deserve access to the facilities they need when they need them, just like every other worker.

The steering committee will guide the process and give truckies a voice in shaping the projects which are funded through the initiative.

The committee will be chaired by former truck driver, Senator Glenn Sterle. Senator Sterle will be joined on the steering committee by representatives of the following organisations:

Michelle Harwood, Executive Director of the Tasmanian Transport Association, representing the Australian Transport Association. Michelle has extensive experience in formulating and delivering the Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Area Strategy.

  • Rod Hannifey, long term truck driver and road safety advocate, President of the National Road Freighters Association,
  • John Beer, veteran long-distance truck driver and former President of the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association,
  • Paul Ryan, Board Member of Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds.

The Organisational representatives will be joined by five truck drivers, all of whom were selected through an expression of interest process:

  • Kellie Boland: Kellie is from Victoria and her family has been owner-drivers for three generations. Kellie has held a heavy vehicle license for 30 years.
  • Bruce Skelton: Bruce is from Queensland and has driven long haul trucks for 40 years. He has been involved in advocating for the correct use of heavy vehicle rest areas,
  • Frank Black (Arcidiaco): Frank is from South Australia and has driven long haul trucks for 35 years. Frank has been the owner driver representative on the Australian Trucking Association general council for the last 20 years,
  • Heather Jones: Heather is from Western Australia and has driven long haul trucks for more than 30 years. Heather sits on the WA Road Freight Industry Council and is the Co-Founder of the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls
  • Craig Forsyth: Craig is from New South Wales and has driven heavy vehicles for 26 years. Craig is currently an owner driver and travelling 4,500 kms per week. Craig is a Board Member of the National Road Freighters Association.

The steering committee will meet for the first time in February.

Quotes attributed to the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator Carol Brown:

“The Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Initiative Steering Committee is the first step in delivering the Albanese Labor Governments $140 million Rest Area Initiative.

“Drivers like Rod Hannifey, who has driven more than 6 million kilometres, or the circumference of Australia more than forty thousand times, will offer invaluable insights.

“Along with Chair and former truck driver, Senator Glenn Sterle, I look forward to working with the steering committee to deliver new and improved heavy vehicle rest areas across the country.”

Quotes attributed to Chair of the Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Steering Committee, Senator Glenn Sterle:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Albanese Government which is delivering for the transport industry and our essential truckies. The announcement of the membership of the steering committee means that we can now get to work to deliver meaningful outcomes for truck drivers.

"Key to that success is utilising the experience, insight and knowledge of the truck drivers and road safety advocates on the committee and I can’t wait to get to work.

"I’d like to thank every driver who took time out of their busy schedule to complete an expression of interest to be a part of this process and offer my congratulations to those who have been selected.”