Shadow Transport Minister, Shane Love has called on the Cook Labor government to address the critical lack of truck rest areas in regional WA.
“There remains a critical shortage of truck drivers but the lack of facilities serves to discourage new entrants to the transport industry, particularly women,” Mr Love said.
Delivering a grievance in parliament last week, he said it was vital that adequate rest areas were provided to ensure drivers are refreshed and safe to get behind the steering wheel of a truck.
Mr Love acknowledged Heather Jones, truck driver and co-founder of Pilbara Heavy Haulage who has been campaigning for improved rest facilities and toilets for 30 odd years.
“Rest areas must be safe places to pull over, allowing drivers to check their load, eat, shower, go to the toilet and sleep,” Mr Love said.
“Truckies are hailed as heroes in a crisis but they are lacking hygienic bathroom facilities – I’ve seen many photos of toilets that are absolutely disgusting.
“The truck cab and the open road is their workplace and the government has a responsibility to provide them a toilet on the roadside that is clean.
“That is challenging given the vast distances in WA and the remote nature of the mining industry but it’s a problem that is decades old and that has not been addressed for far too long.”
“Heather points out that many truck bays were designed in the 1970s – not for the trucks of today with multiple trailers,” he said.
“Rest areas must be big enough, on solid ground, appropriately spaced on the road network, well lit, secure, quiet and with shower and toilet facilities.
“It’s ironic that the government has in place driver-training programs to encourage people into the industry, including women, but fails to do anything about toilets and rest areas.
“We desperately need decent facilities for all truck drivers.”