Trailer Magazine

VIC Govt right to prioritise national supply chains in strengthening Covid restrictions: VTA

  • Posted on Monday 3rd, August 2020.

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has acknowledged the enormous amount of work the Victorian Government is doing to prioritise and protect the nation’s supply chains as it strengthens restrictions across the state to stop the spread of coronavirus.

In his press conference on Sunday 2 August, Premier Daniel Andrews emphasised the complexity of national supply chains and that Melbourne has the biggest container port in Australia, in response to questions about further work restrictions that would be introduced.

“Transport is an essential service and it is encouraging that the Victorian Government is doing a power of work and working with the freight industry to ensure we can continue to operate safely and productively,” said VTA CEO, Peter Anderson.

“The Premier clearly gets that the nation cannot afford to shut down because of what’s happening in Victoria.

“Since coronavirus took hold in February, the transport industry has shown leadership and adapted its systems and processes to be able to safely and efficiently service the needs of customers and consumers and keep supply chains moving.

“As Victorians prepare for further restrictions to their lives and livelihoods, we urge them to heed the advice of state and Commonwealth jurisdictions so that we can reduce community transition and start to get our economy back on a positive footing as soon as possible,” he said.

Anderson also reassured Victorians the transport industry will continue to deliver fresh food, groceries, medicine, fuel and other essential goods to see the community through tougher restrictions.

“What we don’t want to see is a run on supermarkets over the next few days before the new restrictions come into effect because it is completely unnecessary," he said. "Distribution centres have ample supplies to maintain consumer demand so there is no need for panic buying like we saw earlier in the year when the pandemic first hit.”

The VTA is also continuing its dialogue with state and Commonwealth authorities about the unworkable requirement for heavy vehicle drivers to have a Covid-19 test every seven days as a condition for crossing the New South Wales and South Australia borders.

“The changes to the directive NSW has announced will go a long way toward minimising disruptions to supply chains on the eastern seaboard," said Anderson. "South Australian authorities have yet to acknowledge the depth of the issue but there is some good work being done to have the issue formally addressed."

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