Policy threatens to shutdown supply chains: VTA

Enforcement at border states for truck drivers had become intolerant amid the latest mandates imposed on commercial road transport according to the Victorian Transport Association.

News overnight of threats by the Queensland Government to prohibit over 30,000 truck drivers from entering the state unless they were vaccinated has added further fuel to the fire that the industry was not being properly recognised by National Cabinet and at State road manager level or by the Chief Health Officers.

The announcement was the latest in a set of cumulative mandates viewed by industry as onerous to the complex task of maintaining vital supply chains after 17 months of COVID-19 policy.

Disruptions under the ongoing imprimatur of COVID regulations were now a way of life for many operators and transport companies many of who have been working at peak levels for well over a year.

“The road transport industry has been able to maintain its supply chains throughout these adversities and keep our communities supplied with the goods they need to survive the conditions of restrictions, lock downs and closures, said the VTA in a statement.

“The road transport industry has maintained its disciplines and procedures to ensure it does not spread the virus throughout the community. Our record of millions of deliveries over millions of kilometres travelled over the past 18 months, and the number of outbreaks being able to be counted on one hand, is an outstanding result and one upon which the industry is proud.”

According to the short statement, the VTA said it applauded the efforts of companies, drivers and operators who have delivered an impressive record of results under such trying circumstances, but the task of continuing to do so was becoming increasingly harder.

“Enforcement at the border of states is becoming intolerant,” the VTA said.

“Interstate drivers must be pathology tested every three days and now the Queensland Government is giving the 30,000 strong interstate truck driving community a threat to be vaccinated or not enter Queensland.

“The Road Transport industry is an essential service,” the VTA declared.

“Yet we are not being recognised by the authorities as exactly that.”

The statement, which has been endorsed by other industry bodies including the Queensland Trucking Association, Western Roads Federation, the National Road Transport Association, Tasmanian Transport Association and the Northern Territory Road Transport Association, concluded with a word of warning.

“Stop the supply chains and people will not eat.”

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