The McGowan Government is working with industry and local governments to ensure the continuation of essential freight and supplies into Western Australia.
The Freight and Logistics Council met with representatives from the State Government last week to identify supply and freight movement challenges impacting WA, given the situation on the east coast, as well as practical measures that could help alleviate these issues.
One issue raised was curfews on the times vehicles could deliver to supermarkets.
In 2020, Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti approved planning changes under the State of Emergency to provide exemptions to vehicle operating hours to allow the supply of essential goods and services to supermarkets 24/7.
It is understood some local governments may not have been operating under these rules.
The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) will reiterate and communicate this policy to local governments, with vehicles able to arrive, load and unload at supermarkets 24/7, which will assist in keeping shelves stocked.
The State Government will continue to work with industry and key stakeholders, with further meetings planned.
As stated by Transport and Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
“We know many Western Australians are concerned about the impact the pandemic is having on freight and supply chains, particularly with what is happening on the east coast.
“Ensuring trucks can move and deliver items to shopping centres will assist with the smooth flow of essential products and ensure our supermarkets remain stocked.
“I know people are anxious, but there is no need to buy any more goods than you normally would. We will continue to engage with industry and stakeholders on our supply chains.
“In 2020 when the effects of COVID were beginning to be felt, we made changes to planning and development regulations to ensure the continuation of essential public services in a State of Emergency.
“One of these changes included removing curfews on the times vehicles could make deliveries to supermarkets.
“Local governments are aware that this policy is still in effect and trucks can deliver essential goods to stores 24/7, meaning we can keep our shelves stocked and provide essentials.
“We are examining a range of other measures to ensure we keep trucks and freight running and essential supplies available.”