States again change curfew rules in line with lockdowns


SA and Victoria impose temporary halt on delivery restrictions

States again change curfew rules in line with lockdowns
Vickie Chapman

 

In moves that revive industry calls for permanent national reform, South Australian and Victorian delivery curfews were lifted for the latest Covid-19 lockdowns.

South Australia recently saw its emergency measures reinstated to allow curfew-free deliveries during Covid-19 lockdowns, soon after Victoria lengthened its moratorium when its snap lockdown was extended.

The regulation variation will ensure shelves remain stocked during the current lockdown and beyond, helping to meet increased demand and prevent supply chain delays, the SA government noted.

This variation was initially introduced in March 2020, and has since been extended twice due to industry demand.

The regulatory controls will now be reinstated until September 2021, unless an earlier date is designated.


A similar scene arose in Queensland earlier this month


"When the pandemic hit at the start of last year, we saw supermarket shelves stripped bare as people rushed to stock up on the essentials," Minister for Planning and Local Government Vickie Chapman said.

"This put immense pressure on the supply chain and delivery drivers, who rushed to get food and goods back on the shelves.

"The Government responded then, as it is now, to ease the delivery time limits, enabling around the clock deliveries.

"It means South Australians can have complete confidence that all of your essential supermarket needs are being restocked regularly and in a timely manner."

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the reinstatement, saying grocery delivery drivers are feeling the pinch as lockdowns continue across the country.

"Freight drivers are under enormous pressure as a result of snap lockdowns and increased demand," ALC interim CEO Rachel Smith said.

"Lifting of delivery curfews is a necessary step in alleviating pressure in the supply chain.

"It is heartening to see the SA Government acknowledging their importance in supporting local communities."

Meanwhile, Victoria’s arrangement is set to end at 11.59pm on July 27, should its current lockdown be lifted then.

As part of its temporary measure, trucks can pass time-based curfew "no trucks" signs when making grocery deliveries to supermarkets or personal hygiene products to retail outlets. 

They can also remain in loading zones for the time required to make these deliveries.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is monitoring and enforcing compliance in curfew areas.

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government, "but asks they go one step further and permanently lift curfews to support freight delivery into the future".

 

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