January 18, 2021

Owners of Driver Reviver locations across Wannon can now apply for a share of $7.3 million in Australian Government funding to upgrade their life-saving rest sites.

Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan said across Wannon, volunteers are doing a phenomenal job at the Driver Reviver sites providing a much-needed break and cuppa for our drivers, their families and friends to help keep road users safe by tackling driver fatigue.

“Anyone who’s taken a long trip across Victoria or even interstate knows just how quickly fatigue can creep up on you and how life-saving it can be to take a well deserve break, perhaps even switch drivers,” Mr Tehan said.

“That’s the sort of road safety behaviour Driver Reviver sites promote, here in Wannon and across the nation by providing much-loved amenities such as shelters and barbeques or just a cup of coffee or tea with a sneaky biscuit or two over a chat to tackle fatigue.

“For a regional area such as Wannon, these rest sites become even more critical as our communities, hard-working truckies and our families from other parts of the country depend on often long-slog trips to stay connected, travel to work or get our Aussie goods to markets.

“If there is one New Year’s resolution I encourage every Australian to make, it’s to take road safety seriously and do what they can to help keep themselves and others safe on our roads – including taking breaks when they need it, even if it adds another half-hour to their trip.

“Because that half-hour can be the difference between life and death, by ensuring they remain an alert driver who can respond rapidly to a situation on the road.

“Our Government is proud to invest in the essential work of the Driver Reviver program and I strongly encourage all site owners in Wannon to submit their applications for funding as soon as possible.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said nothing was more tragic than having someone taken away from their family, friends and community suddenly.

“The devastating impacts of road crashes are absolutely gut-wrenching, which is why it is so vital to keep road safety front of mind and on everyone’s radars through programs such as Driver Reviver,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“That’s why I am proud to announce $7.3 million in grant funding now available under Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program, to allow existing Driver Reviver locations nationwide to upgrade amenities and install new equipment.

“It will also support the establishment of new sites to expand the current network and reach even more road users, with priority given to restoring Driver Reviver sites affected by the horrific bushfires of 2019 and 2020.

“Driver Reviver is a community program that has been operating in Australia for 30 years now, managed by volunteers from a wide range of organisations and community groups who give their own time to promote road safety and help reduce the road toll by providing travellers with free beverages, snacks and conversation.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said driver fatigue had been identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’ road safety factors that contribute to road trauma, being a factor in up to 30 per cent of all deaths and severe injuries on our roads.
“Driver Reviver sites are critical in tackling driver fatigue to make our roads safer, which is why I am proud to be part of a Government that continues to invest in the program – with a total of $8 million committed under the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program and $1.2 million already out the door through the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.

“Driver Reviver owners will be able to use this round’s funding for a range of much-needed amenities to entice road users to make good use of their sites, such as shelters, picnic tables, power and water facilities, barbeques, parking, lighting and of course equipment such as fridges or hot water urns that allow them to offer that much-needed cup of coffee or tea with their friendly chats.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and while our Government is doing what it can to ensure Australia moves towards ‘Vision Zero’ of zero deaths on our nation’s roads, initiatives such as the Driver Reviver program showcase what governments and communities can achieve when working together, and of course the role road users can play to ensure we all get home safely at the end of each trip.”

Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program is a targeted competitive grant round with applications closing 25 February 2021.

Further information, including application guidelines and submissions, is available at www.grants.gov.au.

For more information on the Australian Government’s road safety initiatives, visit www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232