National Cabinet has taken further action today to keep Australian freight moving safely by formalising a Freight Movement Code.
The Code, endorsed by State, Territory and Commonwealth Infrastructure and Transport Ministers will ensure a consistent set of health measures apply across borders for freight operators.
The enforceable measures have been specified to deliver greater consistency between states and territories in their implementation of border controls, especially for routine COVID-19 testing, self-isolation requirements while working and reporting requirements to facilitate contact tracing.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said all levels of government were continuing to work together in combining the best health advice with feedback from the transport industry.
“Streamlining the process for crossing borders will make life easier for our freight operators,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We have always known Australia relies on our freight operators, but if this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s just how far that reliance extends.
“The work our freight operators do keeps our shelves stocked and our local economies running.
“Today, we have acted again to ensure those operators can do their work safely and efficiently, strengthening the Australian economy.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz welcomed the Code, noting it would significantly assist the freight transport industry.
“Having been involved in the freight industry for many years, I know how valuable it is to have the certainty that this Code brings,” Mr Buchholz said.
“These are unchartered times and our freight industry is playing a critical role, it underpins jobs, strengthens the national interest and secures our future prosperity.
“Aligning state and territory measures through this Code will help reduce delays in the supply chain, ensuring our freight operators can keep moving safely and efficiently.”
Today’s action is another win for the freight industry, after the Federal Government previously worked to ensure rest stops received an exemption from various restrictions in place earlier in the pandemic, as well as the Protocol endorsed by National Cabinet two weeks ago.
The Code will support strong efforts already being taken by industry to keep us all safe and ensure measures take account of practical realities, for example, where routine COVID-19 testing is included in border measures, freight workers won’t need to be tested more than once during a seven day period.