July 30, 2020

Removing the ambiguity on freight movements over State Borders

The NSW Government have announced that transport workers must be tested for Covid-19 every seven days if they are crossing over the Victorian border.

The NSW Government have again created a situation where they are the cause of confusion, anxiety and angst amongst our membership who are scrambling to keep up with the ambiguous, ongoing changes to border crossing rules.

The Premier has said via the ABC that decisions are being made at a National and State level so the the Transport Workers are writing to the Federal Government seeking clarity on the issues around the impact of Covid-19 on the transport industry.

Drivers right now face different systems at each State border, with different testing requirements and permits needed upon entry. This is causing confusion and delays for drivers and is disrupting supply chains.
With talk of the introduction of a freight movement Code by the Federal Government, the Transport Workers’ Union are calling for member’s concerns to be addressed and that member’s solutions are included in this Code.
TWU members, Transport Workers in NSW and Victoria, also need the NSW Government to answer the following questions:

  • Will transport workers receive prioritised testing for COVID-19 to ensure the passage of freight is not impacted?
  • Will transport workers be made to self-isolate until they receive their test results each week?
  • Will Governments encourage businesses to allow for transport workers to undertake testing during work hours?

We are calling on the State and Federal Governments to:

  • Co-ordinate a system across the States to standardise testing and permit requirements for drivers so they can be clear on how they can comply with rules more easily.
  • Examine the impact on transport supply chains and the drop-off in freight movement, which is having a major effect on income for operators and owner drivers. We urge a targeted financial assistance for drivers and operators experiencing a fall in income.
  • Ensure that major retailers and manufacturers do not cut their contract rates during the pandemic, which will further apply pressure on trucking businesses resulting in cuts to safety which will impact on the risk of infection and spread.

Drivers are already under pressure, with the squeeze on the transport industry as a critical service during this pandemic. There would be less pressure if there exists a properly coordinated approach to keep Australia moving.

Media Inquiries – Colin Henderson – 0405 625 208


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