States Need to Deliver on Freight Code

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The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed the Freight Movement Code agreed by National Cabinet on Friday, but says state and territory governments now need to follow through on its provisions and ensure workable arrangements for driver testing are in place.

“The freight and logistics industry has engaged proactively with governments at all levels over the past two weeks to help make this Code happen,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.

“However, our supply chains can’t afford for the Code to be a document that is signed and ignored. Industry needs state and territory governments to make certain the Code delivers what it promised – greater consistency between states and territories in their implementation of border controls.”

“ALC welcomes the Code’s commitment to integrating testing into driver schedules and to ensuring symptomatic and asymptomatic people are kept separated at testing sites.”

“The confirmation that workers will not need to go into quarantine or formal self-isolation in any jurisdiction is also especially important in minimising disruptions to freight movement. ALC also welcomes the Code’s commitment to the mutual recognition of COVIDSafe workplans between jurisdictions.”

“All of these measures are very useful commitments – but only if governments follow through and deliver them. The least desirable outcome is a national Code that still leaves us with six or seven different regimes for freight and logistics personnel crossing borders.”

“Freight and logistics operators require as much consistency as possible – and that needs state and territory governments to work pragmatically to ensure that testing requirements can be met.”

“In particular, ALC strongly urges the Victorian Government to open testing to asymptomatic freight workers as quickly as possible, given that a number of other states have already mandated testing every seven days, or have indicated they will do so.”

“With the extraordinary pressures on Victoria’s testing capacity at present, it may be appropriate for the Federal Government to provide the state with some additional support to help make this happen, in the interests of national supply chain efficiency.”

“ALC remains deeply concerned that not providing testing for asymptomatic drivers in Victoria will make it extraordinarily difficult for freight workers to meet border requirements imposed by other states and could lead to supply chain disruptions.”

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