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ATA in flood flexibility call on big combinations

National body issues plea as alternate routes sought through NSW


Western Australia and South Australia have been hit hard by record-breaking rain, washing away roads and throwing the supply chain into chaos, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has highlighted. 

And now it wants swift action from federal authorities to help ameliorate the impact.

Trucks trying to reach Darwin from SA have been forced to take a 1,650 km detour each way and this could continue for weeks until the water goes back down. 

“This situation raises the issue about NSW’s requirement to break 53.5 metre loads back to B-double,” the national body said.

“We are calling for the temporary relaxation of the Heavy Vehicle National Legislation to increase the number of 53.5-metre trucks from Adelaide to Bourke. 

“The flooding in WA is compounding the issues for the industry which is already grappling with the Covid requirements to get into the state.”

In that state, Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny has explained what that means, telling mainstream media that cut east-west rail lines has thrown the transport task on to trucking in the midst of an acute driver shortage.

Dumesny explained to Radio 6PR and others that, with 80% of goods in WA supermarkets coming from the east, the pressure on trucking firms had hit a new and unsustainable high.

“I was on the phone until 10pm last night with one of the company owners, who was just about beyond themselves,” he told the radio station’s news program.

“The stress of the last two years is just reaching a pinnacle.”

He went on to praise WA Police for helping to “hold our system together” by allowing temporary drivers from interstate to be recruited, the station reported.


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