Truck stops reopened for freight industry

Truck stops and roadhouses reopened for freight industry

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NSW Police have announced truck stops and roadhouses will reopen to support the trucking and freight industries during the pandemic.

NSW Police have announced truck stops and roadhouses will reopen to support the trucking and freight industries during the pandemic.

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Testing delays another challenge for the industry.

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Truck stops and roadhouses will reopen to support the trucking and freight industries.

They had been closed when the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions were announced but following lobbying from the industry, NSW Police reversed the decision.

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NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said NSW Health was working closely with police to ensure the common-sense approach would be reflected in the Public Health Orders to ensure the state's transportation workers were able to conduct their work safely.

"As the state is coping with lockdown measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, the delivery of essential goods is more important than ever," Commissioner Fuller said.

"Our essential transportation workers need to have the access to truck stop facilities to ensure that they can revive and refresh to ensure that they can manage their fatigue as they perform these vital delivery and freight services."

The truck stops and roadhouses will be able to offer dining, showers and toilet amenities. However, these services will not be open to the public.

Road Freight NSW chief executive officer Simon O'Hara said truck stops played a crucial role in ensuring truck drivers weren't fatigued on the roads, with breaks mandated by the industry.

"Truckies are continuing to work hard (through the pandemic), in fact they're working more than ever," Mr O'Hara said.

"When some of these truck stops closed, during COVID last year and now this time, it caused a real problem throughout the supply chain and meant the truckies couldn't stop and have a basic break."

Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association president Scott McDonald said most drivers were away from home four to 12 nights at a time.

"You need somewhere to sit down, have a meal and recuperate out of your truck," Mr McDonald said.

"You can't stay in a two metre by two metre by two metre box."

Mr McDonald said the biggest issue facing the industry now was testing times at the border - with truck drivers required to show a negative COVID-19 test when crossing state borders.

"I was getting tested every Tuesday, getting the results on Wednesday, but then all of a sudden it blew out to getting the results on Saturday," Mr McDonald said.

"It throws you out if you have to go across the border and you're just sitting there waiting for the text to come through."

However, Mr O'Hara said they were happy to see the NSW government open up more testing sites and prioritise truck drivers' test results.

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