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Industry and regulator welcome efforts to keep shelves full

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19 March 2020

The NHVR and the trucking industry have praised the South Australian government’s decision to amend their planning legislation to allow 24-hour delivery of essential goods to supermarkets and retailers.

The announcement follows yesterday’s decision by the Queensland government to remove curfews on heavy vehicles delivering goods to the retail sector, amid shortages.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Ben Maguire and South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) CEO Steve Shearer said the heavy vehicle industry was well placed to meet demand, and to do so safely.

“This is an unprecedented time and we’re delighted to see the South Australian and Queensland governments acting swiftly to allow the heavy vehicle industry the flexibility to ensure the supply of essential goods,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“This will go a long way to ensuring shelves are stocked and giving peace of mind to those concerned about essential supplies not being available.”

“Australia’s trucking businesses and drivers are working as hard as we can to restock Australia’s supermarkets,” Mr Maguire said.

“Removing local government curfews across Australia will be a great help.

“The ATA and its members are also working with the NHVR on other safe, practical measures to enable us to move groceries, medical supplies and other essential freight more efficiently.”

“This is a welcome initiative, and SARTA will build on it by working co-operatively with the NHVR to address any other curfews or restrictions in heavy vehicle notices that prevent the most efficient flow of freight,” Mr Shearer said.

Mr Petroccitto said the NHVR was maintaining full service levels while continuing to assess ongoing service delivery capabilities.

“Our on-road staff have been provided with disposable rubber gloves and hand sanitiser to be used when conducting road-side activities to reduce contact or spread of the virus,” he said.

“Most importantly, we will ensure we balance the needs of supporting a safe heavy vehicle industry with the need for operators to conduct their business during a time of great uncertainty.”