Road transport is playing a critical role in moving freight through the Victorian stage four lockdown, continuing to operate in metropolitan Melbourne to deliver essential items to stock shelves of every supermarket.
Ben Maguire, Australian Trucking Association CEO said Australia’s truck drivers and other freight workers are on the front line of keeping everyone supplied during this crisis, whether it’s groceries, medicine or PPE for a major hospital.
“The trucking industry delivers every item on the shelves of every supermarket; every bottle of medicine in every pharmacy and every litre of fuel at every service station,” Ben said.
“As an industry, we will not let Victorians down, and we will not let Australia down.”
With many businesses in Victoria required to close, Mr Maguire urged the Australian Government to provide support to interstate businesses that serve Victoria on the same basis as Victorian businesses.
“Many interstate transport providers rely on volumes to and from Melbourne to maintain the viability of their business, and to keep staff employed at the other end of the supply chains in and out of Victoria,” Ben said.
“Without fully loaded vehicles each way, these operators will be severely impacted by the announced closures. These businesses should receive government support on the same basis as Victorian businesses and their employees.”
According to Tim Piper, Head of national employer association Ai Group in Victoria, the gaps in the supply chain created by these closures and restrictions will inevitably be met by interstate companies.
He said the government should remain open to addressing any inconsistencies and amend or remove the restrictions accordingly.
“The Government also plans to keep freight routes open and this is particularly important given the ramp up in supply expected from other states,” he said.