The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) board was in crisis talks with the Deputy Prime Minister this morning following the collapse of an interstate agreement aimed at speeding the flow of freight.
Despite a National Cabinet agreement last week on a protocol for moving freight across borders and screening truck drivers for COVID every seven to 14 days, state governments have imposed inconsistent and unachievable testing requirements and failed to provide the necessary testing facilities.
“The states’ COVID-19 testing requirements are a national crisis. They will shut the national trucking industry down if they are not fixed by the end of the week,” ATA Chair David Smith said.
“We do not know if NSW requires truck drivers to be screened or if they just encourage it.
“In Victoria, truck drivers are being told they must self-isolate after a screening test, even though they do not have symptoms.
“At many Victorian testing centres yesterday, such as the Hamilton, Portland, Ballarat and Bacchus Marsh hospitals, and the Melton drive through clinic, drivers were turned away and flatly told they would not be tested.