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Labor axes road funding program to help local truckies

Joint media release

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria

The Albanese Government’s scrapping of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) will have devastating consequences for Victoria.

Labor’s decision to axe the HVSPP follows on from significant funding cuts made to the program in its first Budget, putting the safety of Australian truck drivers and road user at risk.

Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, said the Albanese Government’s on-going funding cuts to road programs such as the HVSPP highlights Labor’s failure to understand the critical role Australian road networks play in driving national economic growth and prosperity.

“In its first 18 months, the Albanese Labor Government has taken the axe to road funding and now Labor is planning to abolish yet another road funding program which is vital for road safety and regional industries across Victoria,” Senator Henderson said.

“Everywhere you look, state and federal Labor have ruthlessly taken money out of Victorian road projects to fund Labor’s pet projects such as live music arenas and sports stadiums.

“The Albanese Government has once again shown its contempt for regional communities and the 1.5 million Victorians who live in the regions,” Senator Henderson said.

The HVSPP was created as a specific grant program to support the productivity and safety of truck drivers by funding rest areas, overtaking lanes, and technology trials.

Under the HVSPP program, hundreds of vital road upgrades were delivered including:

  • • Daylesford Clunes Road upgrade, Smeaton (Ballarat)
  • • Western Fwy/Ballarat-Maryborough Rd intersection improvement (Ballarat)
  • • Creswick Lawrence Road upgrade, Creswick North (Ballarat)
  • • Midland Highway – Quarry Route upgrade, Lal Lal (Ballarat)
  • • Ullina- Kooroochean Road upgrade, Smeaton (Ballarat)
  • • Greigs Road Renewal, Rockbank (Gorton)
  • • Nerowie Road Renewal, Parwan (Hawke)
  • • Forest Road and Grays Road upgrade Paraparap (Corangamite)
  • • Geelong Port Access Improvement, North Geelong (Corio)
  • • Construction of a Heavy Vehicle Bypass, Mansfield (Indi)
  • • Hume Freeway Rest Area Upgrade, Balmattum (Indi)
  • • Hume Freeway Rest Area Upgrade, Benton’s Hill (Indi)
  • • Hume Freeway Rest Area Upgrade, Reef Hills (Indi)
  • • Shelley-Walwa Road Pavement Sealing, Guys Forest (Indi)
  • • Snobs Creek Road upgrade, Eildon (Indi)
  • • The Stock Route upgrade, Corryong (Indi)
  • • Sandford Road upgrade, Wangaratta (Indi)
  • • Hume Freeway Upgrade Rest Area, Flat Rock (Indi)

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Bridget McKenzie, said the Albanese Government is either blind or careless to the major and disruptive flow-on effects its decision-making will cause.

“By cancelling the HVSPP, the safety of our truck drivers and everyday road users is at risk as they face longer routes and further decay on our already crumbling roads,” Senator McKenzie said.

“This will pull the handbrake on industry productivity and the ability to move goods safely and efficiently from farms and factories to ports across our great nation.

“The government did not consult with the trucking industry before taking the decision to scrap this program.

“The Labor government has failed to guarantee  our trucking industry will not be left worse off as a result of these changes,” Senator McKenzie said.

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