TWU NSW calls for Covid testing at inspection stations


Union sees its solution aiding compliance requirements for drivers

TWU NSW calls for Covid testing at inspection stations
The TWU wants COVID tests done at inspection stations

 

The latest in a line of suggestions to ease the Covid-spurred burden on industry sees the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) propose testing sites be set up at heavy vehicle inspection stations across the state’s highways.

TWU NSW state secretary Richard Olsen wrote to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian proposing the nine Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations (HVSS) across NSW to be urgently converted to also offer Covid testing for truck drivers - a solution already being used in Victoria.

This would allow drivers to use existing infrastructure to get their tests with minimal difficulty, and without cutting into their important rest breaks, Olsen believes.

Under the public health orders and interstate border restrictions, many truck drivers are required to submit to regular Covid tests every three to seven days.

However, truck drivers across NSW are continuing to encounter unnecessary difficulties in complying with their testing requirements, including long waiting times and testing sites running out of tests.


Industry's calls for rapid testing options, here


Olsen said the NSW Government needed to provide more resources for testing of truck drivers.

"Truck drivers are critical to keeping our supermarket shelves stocked and our society functioning during the current lockdowns.

"Truck drivers want to do the right thing and comply with all the rules, but the NSW Government is making that much harder than it needs to be."

"Truck drivers are spending massive amounts of time during their rest breaks waiting in a queue to get tested.

"That’s a major inconvenience to the drivers, but it’s also a big road safety concern if drivers aren’t able to actually rest during their rest breaks."

"This seems like a no-brainer – the NSW Government just needs to make it happen."

Meanwhile, Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) noted it is working with stakeholders at Port Botany to try and create a testing site for wharf carriers and is awaiting advice from Transport for NSW (TfNSW) on this front.

 

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