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AFRA addresses removalist link to Covid spread

Hill dismayed but points to sector’s excellent record so far


As anger simmers over the alleged actions of Covid-infected furniture removalists – with patience in Victoria, in particular, in short supply – the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) sought perspective for the wider removals sector.

Not least, amid the recriminations, AFRA executive director Simone Hill pointed to an exemplary performance her industry through the pandemic.

She also made plain that much detail about those involved remained unclear.

“Up until this week we have been proud to say that the Australian removals industry has conducted well over a hundred thousand moves since the start of the pandemic without a single Covid-19 contact event,” Hill stated in a LinkedIn post.

“Removalists work under conditions that make social distancing impossible: multiple staff in cabs, close contact with each other and customers and travel across closed borders.”

Hill noted that the sector had been at the forefront of supporting the nation in recent and ongoing challenges, including natural disasters, social dramas and the pandemic. 

Read how the VTA views the actions of the infected furniture removalists, here

“AFRA members have vigilantly worked to implement government guidelines and more recently the National Freight Code to minimise contact when travelling interstate,” she stated. 

“This week, it appears that two removals workers who were contagious with Covid entered Victoria and South Australia. 

“Other than the reports in the media, AFRA has no information about this event and does not know the identity of the workers.

“AFRA has not been informed and does not know whether these removalists were or were not working for an AFRA member.

“The nature of removals work means it is not always possible for removalists to social distance. 

“When removalists are actively engaged in heavy lifting, it may not be safe for their breathing to be restricted through the use of masks.”  

The last point may relate to uncompromising statements Victorian government officials made on alleged permit breaches said to have been uncovered by CCTV video of the removalists involved.

This included allegations of withholding information for 36 hours after it was sought by state authorities.


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