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TWU calls for continued NSW roadhouse access for drivers

Victoria/Tasmania and NSW branch secretaries pen pointed open letter to Berejiklian


With border-closure rules still to emerge, the Transport Workers’ Union’s most affected branch secretaries demand New South Wales government assurances on continual access to roadhouses for truck drivers.

John Berger, for Victoria/Tasmania, and Richard Olsen, for NSW, warn that, without access, they may be forced to call on members to cease driving on the Hume Freeway due to the fatigue risk.

Noting that the TWU nationally “does not disagree” with the step to close the border to curb the Covid-19 spread after the Melbourne spike, they emphasise the anti-fatigue role that roadhouses fulfil.

“The TWU Victoria & Tasmania Branch has been in contact with the Victorian Government to ensure that truck drivers will remain supported throughout the road and transport system in their home state,” the branch secretaries write.

“We are reliably informed by the Victorian Government that relevant departments are working together to ensure a positive passage for freight.”

Read about the TWU call for clarity regarding the border closure, here

The letter comes a day after the union issued an eight-point call for information on how the closure is to work.

Premier, it will not be new information to you that truck drivers face added complication when they are not given adequate access to rest areas, roadhouses and are made to wait for prolonged periods at checkpoints,” it states.

“The border crossing itself is causing conversation around the logistics of checking truck drivers. We implore your Government to ensure that truck drivers are able to pass through the border checkpoint swiftly – ensuring they are not adding excessive hours to their time on the road.”

Noting that Tarcutta is the traditional half-way stop for many truck drivers on the route between Melbourne and Sydney they underline that without access to these vital roadhouses, Victorian truck drivers will be forced to drive fatigued.

“Premier, we seek your commitment to ensure that road houses throughout New South Wales remain open – while adhering to Government regulations around hygiene and social distancing.

“If a commitment is not made by the New South Wales Government, the TWU may have to recommend that truck drivers do not cross the border into New South Wales.

“This recommendation will be made under the premise that without access to road houses, we cannot guarantee the safety and fatigue management of truck drivers.

“This recommendation will greatly impact the ability for New South Wales to fulfil supermarket shelves, postal services and much more.”


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