THREE Australian peak bodies have written Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and health minister Greg Hunt calling on the government to provide priority vaccine access for critical high-risk workers in the supply chain industries.

The Australian Logistics Council, the Freight and Trade Alliance and the Australian Peak Shippers Association said Australian supply-chain workers have so far been largely successful in not contributing to transmitting COVID-19, but due to the nature of the work, risk in the sector remains.

Many of the industry’s workers undergo mandated COVID tests every seven days, as they are required to travel between state borders delivering essential items to communities.

ALC CEO Kirk Coningham said it makes logical sense that after the health care sector and the vulnerable are provided vaccines initially, the government should look to prioritise workers that are then being tested with high frequency because they are the ones most at risk.

“Australian supply-chain workers are some of the unsung COVID heroes during 2020 and now 2021,” Mr Coningham said.

“They play a critical role in supporting our communities and prioritising their safety to ensure they can continue to deliver is a must once the vaccine is available.”

FTA director and APSA secretariat Paul Zalai said, “These essential workers in many cases cannot work from home and are critical to keep the country’s freight moving. They continue to support Australian communities during the on-going crisis and require vaccine protection to do their jobs safely.” The prioritisation of the health of Australian supply chain workers is critical to prioritising the security of the supply chain and the safety of the Australian people.