15 December 2017
Subject: Heavy Vehicles Safety and Productivity Program funding.
Reporter: I guess tell me about this latest round of funding and what the program's achieved so far.
Darren Chester: The latest round of funding on the Heavy Vehicles Safety and Productivity Program provides $100 million for heavy vehicle safety initiatives around Australia. What we've seen already is more than $300 million spent on heavy vehicles safety treatments, whether it's new rest areas, shoulder widening, projects that actually help to reduce road trauma.
Reporter: Obviously we rely heavily on trucks to make society go around. Why is it important to improve safety in that regard?
Darren Chester: Heavy vehicle safety's a critical issue for us. We have seen an increase in road trauma in regional areas. Part of the solution is improving safety for every vehicle on the road, providing better rest areas, road treatments and increased safety for both heavy vehicles and for light vehicle operators. We are very determined to see reductions in the number of fatalities involving heavy vehicles, and also reductions of other serious injuries.
Reporter: Are you able to speak specifically—I don't know if you're aware of any specific projects that you are hoping to go ahead in this area?
Darren Chester: It is up to local councils and the State Government to work with us now on projects that will involve new rest areas, perhaps heavy vehicle bypasses around towns like Warialda. We have seen work in the past which has improved safety right throughout regional areas. So, we want to work with local government, we want to work with the State Government, on projects that make a real difference to heavy vehicle safety.
Reporter: Obviously there has been previous rounds, but for this one to be announced again, there's still work to be done.
Darren Chester: There is always more work to be done when it comes to heavy vehicle safety. We have spent in excess of $300 million already on this program, this latest round of $100 million will allow us to complete more projects right throughout regional Australia. We want to work with the State Government, work with local government, on good ideas and make a real difference to road safety.