BTS: $32m for Queensland across four-day event
FOR more than 50 years, the Brisbane Truck Show has been a showcase of the best in Queensland and Australian trucking innovation, safety and industry.
Since its foundation in 1968 at the Haulmark Trailers site, Rocklea, the show has grown in leaps and bounds, cementing itself as Australia's premier trucking and transport event.
Now in its 52nd year, it's my pleasure to welcome attendees, industry representatives and organisers from across Australia to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Not only is this year's event an opportunity for industry and business to highlight the latest Australian products and solutions, it's also a huge boost for Queensland's economy, pumping in $32 million during the four day showcase.
Simply put, without trucks, Australia stops.
That's why the Palaszczuk Government is investing a record $21.7 billion in roads and transport infrastructure across Queensland over the next four years.
We're delivering the $812.5 million Bruce Highway upgrade on the Sunshine Coast, the $152 million Cairns Smithfield Bypass, the $514.3 million Haughton River Floodplain upgrade and have committed $200 million to the Rockhampton Ring Road.
These projects will help drive our state's trucking industry as it continues to grow, and will support more than 19,000 jobs.
The Palaszczuk Government is also delivering a $25 million program to build and upgrade rest areas along the Bruce Highway and continues to support popular initiatives like the RestSpace app and Truckie Toolbox Talks.
In fact, we recently completed works on a new $2.7 million heavy vehicle rest stop at Nudgee that will join a list of almost 3000 rest stops on the RestSpace app, which allows truckies to plan their journey via GPS.
We also continue to host Toolbox Talks. These talks are a great way to find out the latest when it comes to roads in Queensland and how transport staff can assist you in making sure you are safe on the roads.
Over the past year, several Truckie Toolbox Talks have taken place across the state, including Cairns, Gatton, Maryborough, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, and many more are slated for the year ahead.
Our recent talk at Townsville was an important opportunity to help truckies impacted by severe weather that lashed the region, with my department providing assistance for things like lost or damaged driver licences, heavy vehicle work diaries and accreditation documentation.
Together with the $514.3 million Haughton River Floodplain upgrade, which will improve flood mitigation and safety in Townsville, initiatives like this are making a huge difference to the Townsville region.
I encourage truckies to keep an eye out for upcoming talks via the Department of Transport and Main Roads social media channels, or on roadside Variable Message Signs.
Ultimately, as Queensland grows, so too will the demand for freight and heavy vehicles. Over the next 10 years, the volume of freight moving across Queensland will grow more than 20 per cent.
That's why the Palaszczuk Government has developed the Queensland Freight Strategy and now finalising our new Heavy Vehicle Safety Action Plan.
The freight strategy provides five pillars to address the challenges of freight in the Sunshine State: Build Effective Partnerships, Unlock Economic Opportunity, Smarter Connectivity and Access, A Resilient Freight System and Safer Freight Movements.
Developed with industry and key stakeholders, the safety action plan will outline targeted priorities and initiatives to support our state's broader road safety strategy.
These plans acknowledge just how important a role freight will play in ensuring the Palaszczuk Government continues to deliver more jobs for all Queenslanders and our booming economy.
I look forward to seeing the innovations and outcomes of this year's Brisbane Truck Show, and to supporting our industry and the role it plays in driving Queensland's economy.