The Federal Member for Ballarat and Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, today announced funding of $168,185 to ensure a safer workplace for truck drivers who load and unload livestock at Ballarat Saleyards.
Ms King said workplace safety at such facilities was paramount and the Government has provided the funding under its Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
“Trucks carrying loads of livestock are a common sight on our roads and at our saleyard complexes, with millions of animals transported all over the country every year,” Ms King said.
“We were conscious that the current facility is out-dated and needs major upgrades to ensure the safety of truck drivers.
“We are also aware that there is consideration of a new saleyards location. This new equipment will be able to be transferred to any new saleyards site when it is developed.
“Importantly, this significant upgrade will protect truck drivers and others workers who are involved in moving livestock. It will help reduce the risk of serious injury by making the ramps and the unloading and loading systems safer and more efficient.”
The upgrade includes:
• Replacing height adjustment winches on 14 existing sheep ramps
• Improving lighting around the loading and unloading areas
• Installing 4 vehicle sheep loading and unloading facilities
• Installing 10 safergate units to existing facilities, and
• Replacing 2 aged single deck loading facilities
“The saleyards has a direct economic effect of $160 million annually to the regional economy, and supports in excess of 630 jobs,” Ms King said.
“These much needed improvements will help protect rural truck drivers and their families.
The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program is a significant Federal response to the lack of safe, modern rest stops and workplaces across the nation’s transport infrastructure.
Since coming to Government in 2007, Federal Labor has invested $220 million to reduce risk and improve road safety for truck drivers and all who share the roads with the big rigs.
In the coming years the local trucking industry will also benefit from an unprecedented investment in the State’s highways and the establishment of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator which will slash red tape for transport operators and remove the costly and confusing array of state by state regulations.
Combined with the national rail safety and maritime regulators, these reforms will boost national income by $30 billion over the next two decades.
The Federal Labor Government is providing $82 million through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program to upgrade the safety of Australia’s road network for trucking industry workers.
Around $15 million will be used to build or improve the safety and condition of 119 ramps, 42 loading pens, the lighting in 16 saleyards as well as to install or upgrade truck wash points, internal roadways and install saleyard security gates.
The remaining $67 million will be used to upgrade rest areas, improve signage along the nation’s highways and trial smart technologies, making it safer for truck drivers to take a break or reconfigure their trailers.