Truckies warn of potential supply disruptions if testing rules aren’t standardised
Transport groups have warned there may be disruptions to essential supply chains if COVID-19 testing rules aren’t standardised nationwide.
More than 15,000 drivers will take part in a national 24-hour strike on Friday, and some rogue truckies are threatening strike action or barricades on major routes next Tuesday.
Victorian Transport Association CEO Peter Anderson says complicated rules which vary from state to state are putting drivers under immense pressure, and he fears many may exit the industry, threatening the stability of supply chains.
“They have to travel through, at the moment, a multitude of different disciplines and processes that have been preordained by each state and it’s becoming increasingly difficult,” he told Dee Dee.
While there’s a national agreement for drivers to be tested for COVID-19 every seven days, states and territories have introduced their own testing rules.
“In some states it’s every two days, in some states it’s every three days. In some states it has to be a negative result before you come into the state, in others you just need to show you’ve been tested,” Mr Anderson said.
“You have to have a letter of appointment from your employer or person that’s engaged you and you have to have a permit that actually states where you’re going from and to.”
The Transport Workers Union is calling for drivers to be recognised as essential services at both the federal and state level.
“That would then put supply chains front and centre with the chief health officers so they could understand the impacts … and what they can then modify to ensure that these supply chains stay strong and open,” Mr Anderson said.
For drivers undergoing their second COVID-19 test within seven days, the union also wants rapid antigen testing to be permitted in place of pathology results.
Press PLAY below to hear more about the rules truck drivers are opposing