The ALC says governments need to ensure the movement of freight across borders during the latest outbreak.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has commended Australian governments for acting quickly and taking appropriate measures to protect Australian communities following the latest outbreak of the COVID virus.
It particularly notes the national freight protocol is working and reiterates the need to continue to follow it so as to permit the continuous movement of freight across state and territory borders.
However, there is a need to urgently provide vaccine access for high-risk freight workers.
ALC interim CEO Rachel Smith said freight and supply chain workers had taken steps to mitigate the risks of them becoming the source of a super-spreading event.
However, given the highly infectious nature of the latest variant it is imperative these workers receive priority access to vaccines so the movement of freight can continue unimpeded.
“The nature of their work puts them into a high-risk category. They should be given immediate vaccine access so they can continue to serve the Australian community,” Smith said.
Although not currently in lockdown or under further restrictions, Smith also implored the Queensland government to reinstate relaxed delivery curfews.
After concerted efforts by ALC and others during March 2020, local jurisdiction delivery curfews across Australia were temporarily lifted to allow the 24/7 delivery of essential supplies.
Queensland is the only state to date to pre-emptively repeal these relaxations.
“The latest announcements demonstrate just how quickly the situation can evolve. Freight movements need flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing situations and be able to provide communities with essential needs,” Smith said.
“As Australia continues to manage the COVID crisis, governments must continue to to support the supply chain industry so freight continues to be received by, in particular, Australians who are under the stress of lockdown.”