Statement from Richard Olsen, State Secretary, Transport Workers’ Union of NSW
The NSW Government has changed the rules related to the crossing of the NSW / Victorian border. At midnight tonight, all border permits between NSW and Victoria that have been issued thus far are cancelled.
With less than 6 hours to go till the border shuts down harder, Transport Workers or their companies must re-apply for a new permit or they simply cannot travel.
Close to 5pm today, the NSW Government through Service NSW put up the new permit application process and for NSW Transport Workers it’s already chaos.
There was an error in the system which means that NSW based Transport Workers are unable to apply for a permit related to critical freight services.
The NSW Government are clearly unaware of the difficulty this lack of preparation causes for drivers when they are working shifts, sleeping and trying to just do their job.
We have seen confusion, anxiety and angst amongst our membership as they scramble to keep up with the ambiguous, ongoing changes to border crossing rules.
Drivers are already under pressure, with the squeeze on the transport industry as a critical service during this pandemic.
Permits that are being issued are riddled with errors. We have become aware that Service NSW are working on the problem.
This is the second time the permits have caused problems in the past weeks.
We also note that Victorian Drivers are being given short notice to access and apply for a NSW Government Covid-19 Business plan.
NSW Government must do better and allow for drivers to plan ahead so they can continue the provision of an essential critical service during this pandemic.
They are delivering food, fuel and medicines. They are keeping the economy and businesses open by distributing goods across Australia.
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