COVID-19 Updates

NSW Asked To Re-Think PCR Test Rollback

The New South Wales Government is being asked to urgently rethink the imminent closure of six truck-friendly PCR testing stations in regional areas that are critical to heavy vehicle operations.

National Road Transport Association Chairman Scott Davidson said the Government intends closing most PCR testing stations as Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) comes into greater use.

But low availability and the high cost of RAT kits were a real issue for the heavy vehicle sector.

Mr Davidson said the truck-friendly NSW testing stations are at Ballina, Marulan, Narrandera, Tarcutta, Taree as well as Yass and service the critical freight routes of the Pacific and Hume Highways.

“We understand that will occur from January 17 but the closure of the six truck-friendly sites in regional areas could happen as soon as this week,” Mr Davidson said.

“We accept that the downscaling of PCR stations is inevitable with changes to border crossing and close contact rules, but there’s still uncertainty while bureaucrats scramble to amend regulations.

“The truck-friendly testing sites were a godsend to our industry and NSW led the way with their introduction.

“We just want them to stay in place until RATs are more fairly priced and become more readily available.”

Mr Davidson said there is a strong case to make RATs available free-of-charge to essential industries like road transport.