BORDER PATROL: The Kununurra Police working hard at the WA/NT border to keep the Kimberley safe and the freight moving freely. Pic: Kununurra Police Twitter
BORDER PATROL: The Kununurra Police working hard at the WA/NT border to keep the Kimberley safe and the freight moving freely. Pic: Kununurra Police Twitter

WA peak freight body plans for suburban shutdowns

WA INDUSTRY bosses are already looking at ways to mitigate freight supply disruption should coronavirus 'hot spots' flare in the state's suburbs.

Western Roads Federation chief executive Cam Dumesny said it's vital that the industry is prepared for suburban lockdowns, long before the streets are shut.

"Based on trends we're seeing overseas, it's something we could be facing in a week or two from now," said Mr Dumesny.

"If those are suburbs on arterial routes or secondary freight routes through the city, then how is that going to impact us?

"These are the type of questions we need to be asking as an industry now so we can get on the front foot and ahead of the curve on this."

Mr Dumesny, who is helping steer the state's COVID-19 supply chain response group, said early reports indicate that WA's tough new regional shutdowns now in place are working well and freight is flowing freely.

"We've had a few complaints on Facebook, but we've chased those up. A lot of it was just miscommunication.

"All [truck] drivers are exempted. You just need to fill out the form and tick the exempt box."

Mr Dumesny said the driver shortage is also a major concern for WA.

To help plug the shortfall, the WRF plans to adopt Victorian Transport Association's driver exchange program, which matches drivers who have temporarily lost their jobs with industries experiencing a surge in demand for truckies.

"The way things are going we're looking at October before this thing peaks so we've got a long period of time to suck this up."

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