Following the announcement of tightened COVID-19 restrictions for Victoria, the Victorian Transport Association has praised the state government for working to prioritise and protect the nation’s supply chains.
In his press conference on Sunday August 2, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews highlighted the complexity of national supply chains, noting that Melbourne is home to the nation’s biggest container port.
“Victoria is in crisis, and as we enter a period of unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms and our ability to work, it is essential that we come together to understand the challenges we face, and work in unison to stop the spread of coronavirus and the havoc it is wreaking across our state,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.
“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,” he added. “The Premier clearly gets that the nation cannot afford to shut down because of what’s happening in Victoria.”
Since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold in February, the transport industry has banded together to adapt its systems and processes to ensure it can continue to safely and efficiently service its customers and keep Australia’s 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 transmission and start to get our economy back on a positive footing as soon as possible,” said Mr Anderson.
He also reassured Victorians the transport industry will continue to deliver fresh food, groceries, medicine, fuel and other essential goods to help the community through the newly imposed tougher restrictions. “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 talks 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 NSW and SA borders.
“The changes to the directive NSW has announced will go a long way toward minimising disruptions to supply chains on the eastern seaboard,” added Mr 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.”