Thousands of freight trucks could be forced off the roads because of shortages of diesel exhaust fluid for diesel vehicles.
An already global shortage of the special anti-pollution additive, called urea has been exacerbated by China closing down its exports.
Australia’s trucking industry has warned shortages of diesel exhaust fluid this summer could cause up to half of all trucks to be removed from the road by early next year.
NatRoad chief executive officer Warren Clark says the association is meeting with the Federal Government today to discuss the looming shortage.
“We will be making sure that the Transport Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, is briefed on the potential impact on the national supply chain and on our members,” he says.
“Our industry isn’t the only one that will be affected, but we will be hit first and hardest. We are calling on the Government to convene a task force of industry groups to look at options to mitigate the situation in the immediate term.”
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has been alerted to the issue and has been told that there should be a ban on urea exports from Australia.
A spokesman for Mr Joyce said: “The government is aware of the concerns around the supply and availability of (DEF) and is continuing to monitor the situation.”
“We encourage industry operators to continue operating as they normally would.’’
Warren Clark says the Federal Government needs to move fast.
“It is time for leaders – industry, government, supply chain and major consumers – to work together to manage the challenges,” he adds.
“If we learned one thing from COVID-19 it’s that a lack of co-ordination only compounds problems. While those issues reflected different health rules in different jurisdictions, the ball is squarely in the Federal Government’s court in terms of finding an alternate source.”