With border closures ongoing, the Morrison Government must urgently work with the states to develop a consistent national protocol that enables trucks and freight to move around the country as easily as possible.
Throughout this crisis, Australia has been as dependent on trucks as ever – but the transport workers keeping Australia moving have too often been forgotten.
Currently, interstate truck drivers must operate according to complex rules and regulations that are regularly changed with minimal notice.
This has left drivers across the country uncertain of their rights and responsibilities and fearful that they could be personally liable for fines – even if violations are the result of incorrect instructions provided by their employer.
Truck drivers are essential workers, and they must be treated as such.
The Morrison Government must consult broadly with the industry and immediately:
• Work with the states to standardise testing and permit requirements so drivers can ensure they comply with rules;
• Provide targeted assistance to those operators who are experiencing financial pressure;
• Help fund paid pandemic leave so truck drivers and all essential workers can isolate if required to do so, and;
• Ensure that individual truck drivers do not bear the brunt of fines that are the result of poor systems implemented by their employers.
Without trucks Australia stops. Unclear and conflicting regulations are putting at risk truck drivers and the entire road transport industry.