THE Australian Logistics Council says the national protocol developed by industry and governments for freight movement across state and territory borders agreed by National Cabinet is a major step forward in providing certainty for freight and logistics.

ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said the COVID-19 pandemic underlined just how vital efficient, safe and resilient supply chain operations were to Australia.

‘Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, ALC has encouraged all levels of government to recognise the essential nature of freight movement and ensure that border restrictions do not impede freight and logistics activity,” Mr Coningham said.

“In particular, ALC has urged authorities to adopt a practical stance by facilitating the ‘waive through’ of freight vehicles at borders, providing dedicated lanes for freight vehicles at border check points and not requiring truck drivers or rail crews to quarantine or self-isolate when crossing borders if they have not developed COVID-19 symptoms.”

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Mr Coningham said the ALC was pleased these principles were all enshrined in the protocol that has been agreed.

“The protocol’s explicit acknowledgement that authorities should consult with industry to understand the effect and impacts of potential changes ahead of any new directions being been put place is also significant,” he said.

“Adherence to this commitment will be essential to avoid some of the confusion that has been witnessed throughout the pandemic, as border requirements were changed with inadequate notice to industry.”

“Obtaining agreement to this protocol has only been possible because our industry has been able to clearly and convincingly demonstrate its commitment to COVID-safe practices.”

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