TWU WELCOMES TRUCK DRIVER EXEMPTION AS VIC BORDER CLOSURE ANNOUNCED

TWU WELCOMES TRUCK DRIVER EXEMPTION AS VIC BORDER CLOSURE ANNOUNCED Main Image

19 November 2020

The Transport Workers’ Union has welcomed an exemption for truck drivers as the Victorian border with SA closes from midnight, but continues to seek answers on testing at the border.

TWU Victorian Tasmanian Branch Secretary John Berger said the union began discussions with the Victorian Government yesterday after testing of truck drivers on the border began.

“We are pleased the Victorian Government has consulted us on this issue to ensure truck drivers will be able to enter Victoria from SA when the border shuts tonight. We do not want to see a repeat of the difficulties truck drivers experienced when they entered NSW from Victoria a few months ago after the border shut. Confusion and delays on the border can have massive effects on supply chains. We urge the Victorian Government to immediately provide much needed information to truck drivers. Information must include details about testing wait times, drivers ability to continue work while awaiting test results and assurances around traffic flow management,” said Mr Berger.

TWU SA/NT Branch Secretary Ian Smith said the union would be monitoring the situation, including drivers’ access to road houses for showers and hot meals.

“Truck drivers are performing a critical service at this time, getting supplies of food, fuel and medicines across borders. They need protections and supports. We urge state authorities to ensure exemptions remain in place so that drivers can access truck stops with showers, hot meals and rest areas. Drivers should be given masks, sanitizer and gloves and they should be paid pandemic leave if they need to self-isolate. By protecting truck drivers we can keep these essential workers and the wider community safe,” said Mr Smith.