SEVERAL Australian logistics companies are instituting programs to encourage workers to roll up their sleeves for a COVID-19 jab.

Qube has opened a COVID-19 vaccination hub at the Moorebank Logistics Park. It said it aims to accelerate access to Pfizer vaccines for priority workers in the Liverpool local government area.

The free-access vaccine hub is operated by Company Medical Service and funded by Qube. It was established with support from the Australian Government-owned Moorebank Intermodal Company, which is overseeing the development of Moorebank Logistics Park.

The initial focus will be on providing vaccines to essential workers including healthcare, disability and aged-care workers; food distribution workers; transport and logistics workers; essential service workers; and their families.

The hub will in Qube Logistics’ new Warehouse 5 within the Moorebank Logistics Park at 400 Moorebank Avenue, Moorebank. It will operate Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm.

The vaccination hub is staffed with nursing, medical and support team members and is expected to deliver 9000 first and second-dose Pfizer vaccines in the first six weeks for authorised workers and local community by mid-October.

The vaccination hub will be located in a safe and secure warehousing area that is separated from the precinct’s day-to-day operations.

There will be ample public parking and amenities for staff and patients. Traffic control will be provided by Qube to minimise impacts on precinct tenants and local traffic.

Qube managing director Paul Digney said the hub would provide critical vaccinations for workers in the supply-chain industry to keep these vital services operational.

“Qube is a major employer in the local area with significant logistics facilities and capabilities. We recognised that we have the capacity to support the supply chain sector and accelerate vaccination rates with the establishment of this vaccination hub.

“Qube’s brand-new Warehouse 5 at the Moorebank Logistics Park is perfect for this operation and we are very pleased to have been able to rapidly develop a plan for its use as a vaccination hub, with support from the Commonwealth Government and CMS,” Mr Digney said.

“To boost the overall immunisation effort in the supply chain and warehousing sector, the Qube Moorebank COVID-19 Vaccination Hub will give priority bookings to healthcare workers including aged care and disability support services, freight, logistics and warehouse workers, and other essential service workers.”

Federal minister for communications, urban infrastructure, cities and the arts Paul Fletcher said the vaccine hub was an example of the positive role that the private sector could play in helping to boost access to COVID vaccines.

“People across Australia, but particularly in Sydney, have done an excellent job at coming forward to get their vaccine, with vaccination rates continuing to hit record highs,” Mr Fletcher said.

“There’s no doubt that the success of the vaccine rollout to date has been a collective effort among governments, communities and the private sector. Initiatives such as this one will ensure that we continue on this positive trajectory towards 70 and 80 per cent vaccination rates, which is what is required to safely reopen the country.

“Given its vast size and warehousing facilities, the Australian Government owned Moorebank Logistics Park provides an optimal setting for a vaccine hub, and I thank our delivery partners Qube for providing this opportunity to the residents of South-Western Sydney.”

Toll offers reward program

Toll Group on Friday launched a reward program to encourage and thank employees for getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Employees who are fully vaccinated (undertaken on the advice of their health practitioner) will be eligible to enter a monthly draw to win a range of prizes including one of ten $500 grocery and fuel vouchers each month from now until the end of the year.

Toll Group chief human resources officer Vikram Cardozo said vaccination is one of the most important ways we can help keep our people and communities safe and end the cycle of lockdowns.

“Last week, Toll announced a paid leave scheme to support our people to get vaccinated, which will help protect our team and our communities,” Mr Cardozo said.

“As an additional step to encourage and reward our employees to get vaccinated we are introducing a rewards program to say thank you to our people for protecting themselves and our community.”

Pacific National paying employees to get jabbed

Meanwhile, rail freight company Pacific National is paying its staff $180 to get fully vaccinated.

Pacific National CEO Paul Scurrah said the company was offering the incentive as states move towards a one-jab policy for essential freight workers to travel across state borders and into lockdown zones.

“Pacific National is also calling on the Australian and New South Wales governments to prioritise vaccination of freight train crews which operate weekly services between the regions and Sydney LGAs of concern,” he said.

“For example, Pacific National train crew – residing in both the regions and Sydney – operate weekly services between terminals in Junee, Taree and Parkes and the company’s major freight hub at Chullora.”

Mr Scurrah said PN, as the country’s largest private rail freight company, employs 2300 frontline workers that operate 800 services hauling millions of tonnes of goods and commodities across the mainland.

“You can’t operate, load/unload or maintain a 4000-tonne interstate freight train hauling 220 containers between Melbourne and Brisbane from the comfort of a home office. That’s why we are determined our frontline workers be given every opportunity and incentive to be fully vaccinated against COVID,” he said.

“A typical 1500 metre interstate freight train operated by a crew of only two is equivalent to 90 cross-border truck trips. That’s the unique safety strength and efficiency of rail freight – big volumes of freight can be transported large distances and across numerous state borders using a comparatively small, but highly trained, workforce.

“The dedication and professional of rail freight workers since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 has helped to keep supermarket warehouses stocked and regional bulk exports like grain, minerals and coal flowing through our ports to domestic and international markets.”