With states closing their borders to interstate travel, those needing to continue to travel, including rail freight operators, into Western Australia and the Northern Territory are being asked to complete an arrival form.
From today, March 25, Queensland has also closed its borders. This has affected passenger rail services from NSW, which are now terminating at Casino, rather than continuing to Brisbane.
Due to the extensive connections between Queensland and New South Wales along the border at Tweed Heads/Coolangatta, local movements for shopping, work, medical appointments and travel home are not affected.
In addition, to limit the spread of the virus train and tram services in South East Queensland are only accepting pre-paid tickets to avoid the handling of cash.
While these measures have been put in place to ensure community safety, the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has continued to press for freight services to be allowed to continue unaffected, due to their critical nature delivering food and supplies around Australia.
CEO of the ALC, Kirk Coningham, has said that he is happy with the measures put in place so far.
“It is pleasing that states and territories have all recognised the essential nature of the freight task by exempting freight and logistics from border closure arrangements,” he said.
“We now need states and territories to ensure that exemption is given practical effect, and make certain freight vehicles are not delayed for lengthy periods at border check points.”
Freight operators have been putting in place extra social distancing measures and cleaning measures to ensure that freight vehicle operators cannot spread COVID-19. With this in mind, delays at borders should be minimised, said Coningham.
“Those operating freight vehicles have rigorous restrictions around the number of hours they can work. Significant delays at border check points could end up producing delays of 24-hours or more in the movement of freight,” he said.