|The Transport Workers’ Union is warning that the measures announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today will wreak havoc across the state’s transport and freight industries if their rollout is handled as poorly as previous measures.
From next week, any transport worker who lives or works in an LGA of concern will need a permit to go to work. Additionally, workers who live in LGAs of concern and work outside their LGA will be banned from working unless they’ve received their first vaccine dose by 30 August or their workplace implements rapid antigen testing.
The LGAs of concern are home to more than 68,000 transport workers and also include some of NSW’s biggest freight and distribution hubs.
It follows a similar announcement last weekend of a permit system for workers travelling to regional NSW – the details of which were only published at 10am today and which still hasn’t opened for applications.
TWU NSW/QLD State Secretary Richard Olsen said transport workers are extremely concerned about how these new measures will be implemented, given the complete failure of the regional NSW travel permit system.
“The NSW Government have made a complete mess of the regional travel permits, and now they are saying every single transport worker living or working in the hot spot LGAs needs a permit by next weekend? How can anyone have any confidence in the NSW Government’s ability to implement these new permits?” Mr Olsen said.
“If this permit system for Sydney workers goes as badly as the regional permit system has, then it will cause complete chaos for the entire transport and freight industries.”
“And on top of the chaos with permits, the NSW Government has told workers that they could be locked out of work if they don’t get the vaccine in the next 10 days, without doing anything to improve their access to vaccines.”
“We can’t afford a situation where tens of thousands of transport workers are prevented from going to work because of a botched permit scheme or because they haven’t been able to get a vaccine appointment in time. If that happens it will be complete chaos across the whole industry.”
The measures, which will affect tens of thousands of transport workers across Sydney, were announced with zero consultation with industry or transport workers.
Media Contact: Mitch Wright – 0430 186 590