NatRoad is pleased to announce the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and the National Cabinet have approved an exemption for roadhouses, dedicated truck stop facilities and truck driver lounges to remain open.
“We commend the Government on recognising the vital need for roadhouses to stay open and provide the much needed amenities for our members who are working on the frontline to deliver essential items during this pandemic,” said National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO Warren Clark .
Roadside service stations, roadhouses and truck driver lounges provide a vital function allowing truck drivers to eat, shower, use restrooms, refuel and rest comfortably before resuming their work. These facilities are critical for them to continue efficient and safe freight distribution across the country.
Last week we heard firsthand from our members that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused many roadhouses to close their amenities including access to showers, restrooms and facilities.
“Access to amenities is a fundamental right but is also a requirement for the job so that drivers can efficiently manage their fatigue breaks,” said Mr Clark.
NatRoad worked closely with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack to highlight this issue and propose a solution.
“We highlighted the concerns of our members and we are pleased that this commonsense solution ensures that heavy vehicle drivers have access to essential amenities and can take regular breaks whilst delivering their vital cargo.”
The industry can now continue to play a critical role in Australia’s response to COVID-19.
Natroad thanks the AHPPC and the National Cabinet for agreeing to these common-sense changes for the benefit of our members
The exemptions will only apply to facilities where appropriate social distancing and hygiene measures can be maintained, and the use of roadhouses will be strictly limited to heavy vehicle drivers.
“Our members are working tirelessly to deliver essential goods around Australia, and we are pleased that the Government has recognised their contribution and is supporting them in their role,’ Mr Clark said.
Natroad will continue to work with industry and Government to ensure members are safe, both in terms of fatigue management and their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and this exemption gets that balance right.