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Infected furniture removalists in industry firing line

VTA condemns ‘rogue’ workers as trucking restrictions tighten


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) joined state authorities in a stern response to the actions of Covid-infected New South Wales furniture removalists blamed for lockdowns and restrictions in the state and South Australia.

The Victorian government is flagging a strong official response as state police are tasked with investigating alleged anti-Covid permit breaches last week.

“As a result of new Covid cases in Melbourne, the Victorian government has taken steps to limit any further spread by re-introducing restrictions on movement in the community, as well as specific new requirements for freight and logistics workers operating across borders,” the VTA stated.

Effective immediately, transport workers travelling into Victoria from red zones will be required to get a Covid test every three days, instead of every seven, and always carry evidence with them of a current negative test result.

Read how the Covid outbreak reaction in Sydney is being viewed, here

In addition to also carrying a valid permit for entering Victoria, drivers must also carry a letter from their employer, supervisor and/or customer confirming they are interstate linehaul drivers carrying out essential transport work.

“In introducing these new restrictions, the government has made an important distinction between freight drivers who by and large have been doing the right thing during the pandemic, and the rogue activities of these removalists, which has directly led to new restrictions for Melbourne and greater Victoria,” VTA CEO Peter Anderson said.

“The majority of freight drivers have done a magnificent job during the pandemic of keeping supply chains moving. It is most unfortunate the irresponsible actions of these individuals have brought the transport industry into some disrepute.

“As an industry association we will be reinforcing that these individuals are not representative of the overwhelming majority of the freight and logistics industry in our interactions with government, the media and other stakeholders.”

The government is also banning furniture removal transport into Victoria by professional and recreational owner-driver type furniture removal operators.

In announcing the new restrictions to VTA members and the freight industry, Anderson noted that it is important for operators to reiterate to drivers the imperative of always following CovidSafe guidelines and requirements, including QR code check ins, mask wearing, hand hygiene and sanitization and social distancing.

He also reinforced registered transport company must have a CovidSafe plan that has been communicated to all employees and contractors.

“If drivers are unwell they must refrain from working and get tested and self-isolate if they are symptomatic,” Anderson said.

Further information and travel permits are available here.


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