THE AUSTRALIAN Logistics Council said it is working with the commonwealth to ensure delivery curfews remain permanently suspended across Australia.
In March last year, the ALC and others worked to have delivery curfews lifted to allow the 24/7 delivery of essential supplies.
Now, with states reinstating border closures and inner-city lockdowns when virus hot spots arise, The ALC is calling again for 24/7 freight delivery, with the view that curfews should be removed permanently.
Research commissioned in 2020 by ALC showed more than 70% of respondents supported permanently removing curfews on overnight deliveries and strong majority support for the removal of other operational restrictions, including bans on heavy vehicle access along certain routes, port operations and airport noise curfews.
ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said ALC has long advocated for the removal of such blanket restrictions, many of which date from the 1980s – an era of different considerations.
“Inflexible regulations like curfews do nothing to recognise or incentivise take-up of new and emerging vehicle technologies that can be deployed to undertake freight tasks less intrusively,” Mr Coningham said.
“As the Prime Minister himself noted, when the curfews were removed in March, ‘the sun came up the next day. It was extraordinary’.
“Clearly, greater flexibility can work, so let’s work towards a more balanced system – flexible enough to accommodate modern customer expectations and agile enough to harness advantages presented by modern vehicle technology.”
Keeping curfews off will give logistics operators and their customers a greater capacity to minimise their impact on other road users, the ALC said in a statement.
“Simply defaulting to blanket restrictions designed for a pre-pandemic world would be a retrograde policy response.”
Currently curfew removals have been extended for the for most of the first quarter in all states with the exception for Victoria who have partially reinstated pre-COVIC curfews to state owned roads. ALC said it would continue to work closely with individual jurisdictions to ensure the free movement of freight during this time.