LOCAL authorities should prioritise the movement of freight and territory border crossings, the Australian Logistics Council says.

Freight remains exempt from border crossing bans, brought in to halt the spread of coronavirus, but Australian Logistics Council CEO Kirk Coningham warned even small delays could cause trouble.

“It is essential that border restrictions do not impact on freight. Even small delays can compound across the supply chain to prevent or significantly delay delivery,” Mr Coningham said.

“Those operating freight vehicles have rigorous restrictions around the number of hours they can work. Significant delays at border check points could end up producing delays of 24-hours or more in the movement of freight.”

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Mr Coningham said it was imperative local authorities recognised the professionalism of freight vehicle operators, who would be well versed in social distancing requirements and compliance with other measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“It is pleasing that states and territories have all recognised the essential nature of the freight task by exempting freight and logistics from border closure arrangements,” he said.

“We now need states and territories to ensure that exemption is given practical effect, and make certain freight vehicles are not delayed for lengthy periods at border check points.

“We will be working with our members and industry to identify issues as they arise.” Mr Coningham said the ALC was grateful for the work of the Commonwealth at the ministerial and departmental level in promoting sensible and consistent policy across the states and territories.

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