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Statement on bushfires

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09 January 2020

With weather conditions again predicted to get worse, it is a timely reminder that this bushfire crisis is not yet over.

Conditions will worsen in parts of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales from today. NSW and Victoria are expected to have a difficult day tomorrow, which may also impact the ACT.

Fires in Western Australia have kept the Eyre Highway closed.

The loss of life, property and wildlife together with the impact on families, businesses and our environment has been devastating.

Supply chains into Western Australia have been disrupted and communities in both northern WA and the Territory are facing cyclone threats.

The ATA urges the trucking industry to remain safe. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has put together helpful information on how to stay updated on local road closures and fire information.

For those impacted by the bushfire disaster, the Australian Government disaster recovery assistance hotline is 180 22 66. Some further information on emergency and disaster assistance contact details are available online.

In the face of such devastation, we’ve been humbled by the generous Aussie spirit on display. Our firefighters, emergency personnel and police continue to do an amazing job keeping our community safe. Individuals are donating time, supplies and money to those who have had their lives turned upside down. 

Individual truckies and operators have come together to get supplies to devastated communities. Our industry has been at its best.

We acknowledge the work of the media to tell the stories of how the industry has been affected and how it has responded.

ATA member associations have been highlighting specific road closures and other business impacts that operators need to know. This has been particularly important with the impacts on WA freight routes and we’ve also seen major eastern routes such as the Hume Highway closed at short notice.  

Whilst this crisis is ongoing, attention must also turn to rebuilding devastated communities.

The Australian and state governments have begun announcing bushfire recovery funds. This support is welcome and the rollout of this recovery process will be important.

The ATA has begun work highlighting with the Australian Government the need to include the trucking industry in the bushfire recovery plans.

We encourage input from our members and the industry on where support will be needed.

We should all remember that the recovery process will take time and that recovery is not just a job for government.

We can support affected businesses through buying their goods and services. It’s something we should remember to do once this crisis has left the headlines.   

These events are a timely reminder to all trucking operators and drivers of the value of being a member of an Industry Association. These specialised teams are well placed to keep us informed on road closures, updates on pending emergencies, and access links to government and financial support, as well as reminding Governments of the need to support our industry too.

For more information see our ATA member associations.