Victorian government backflip on truck curfews hailed


NatRoad-backed measure focuses on food and pharmacy products distribution

Victorian government backflip on truck curfews hailed
Scott Davidson

 

The Victorian government has listened to industry pleas and reversed its decision to re-introduce heavy vehicle curfews, according to the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad).

State roads and road safety minister Ben Carroll signed off on the measure in a variation to the state’s Road Safety Act.

The relevant Victorian Government Gazette order notes that "a driver engaged in the delivery of food items or personal hygiene products to premises where the public may purchase those items or products is permitted to pass a ‘no trucks’ sign to make that delivery at any time of the day" and that "a driver who has stopped in a loading zone because the driver is dropping off or picking up food items or personal hygiene products to or from premises where the public may purchase those items or products may stay continuously in that loading zone for the period of time required to drop off or pick up those items or products."

NatRoad has greeted the announcement that heavy vehicles delivering essential items to retail premises will be exempt from truck curfews until April 7 as a win.

"We warned in November that the re-introduction of curfews was going to hit already disrupted supply chains and it’s always encouraging when a government listens and acts," NatRoad chairman Scott Davidson said.

"Any sensible action that any government can take to make the freight task easier in stressful times should be acknowledged.

"The exemption means deliveries can be made to supermarkets and pharmacies facing high demand for food, medicine and Covid testing kits.

"It will be reviewed in early April and we urge the Andrews government to make it permanent."


Read about NatRoad’s curfews reinstatement warning, here


NatRoad has also welcomed the Victorian government’s announcement that many transport workers will be exempt from close contact isolation requirements from January 12.

"We note that this applies where necessary for continuity of operations and when other options have been exhausted," Davidson said.

"Also, exempted workers must be asymptomatic, undertake daily Rapid Antigen Tests for five days and return a negative result prior to attending work.

"We recognise that this exemption brings truck drivers into line with critical healthcare workers in Victoria and as essential workers, neither should have to foot the cost.

"We are hopeful that governments will make RATs available to both groups, free of charge."

 

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