A truck forum in Bendigo yesterday has covered key issues affecting the industry.
Speaking at the forum, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional
Development, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the Albanese Government must immediately
come clean about future plans for the axed Heavy Vehicle Safety and Bridges Renewal
She said vague promises about a new rebranded fund that incorporates these two important
Coalition transport initiatives did not cut it with industry.
“Cutting road funding and uncertainty to funding for rural bridges to enable them to safely
carry heavy trucks amidst the sharpest rise in road fatalities in 13 years defies logic,”
Senator McKenzie said.
“Truck drivers and rural transport companies in particular need funding certainty, and they
need to know that the Federal Government has a co-ordinated plan to tackle the rising road
The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad said the forum covered key issues
including rising costs for transport operators, the terrible state of our roads and the future of
truck driving as a career.
“The state of our roads is one of the biggest issues at the moment, and the rising road toll
in regional Victoria is extremely concerning,” Ms Broad said.
The Australian Automobile Association’s latest National Road Safety Strategy reported a 7.3
per cent increase in deaths on Australian roads from 2022 to 2023, with 1266 people losing
their lives on our roads last year.
The second half of 2023 was the deadliest since 2010. Victoria’s road toll was up 22.5 per
cent, according to the AAA report.
Senator McKenzie said not only was Victoria receiving a lower proportion of funding (less
than 15 per cent) than other states for bridges renewal, now funding was under a cloud.
Bridges Renewal funding allocated for Victoria between 2022-23 and 2025-26 was halved by
Labor, taking the funding share from $86.6 million in the Coalition’s March 2022 budget
down to $44.6 million in the May budget.
Media contacts: Senator McKenzie – Olympia Cover 0407 876 497
Ms Broad – Linda Barrow 0484 303 764