A SUSPENSION of trucking curfews around the nation should become permanent, the Australian Logistics Council says.

As was widely reported, state governments around the nation eased restrictions on heavy vehicle operating hours during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure essential supplies.

ALC chief executive Kirk Coningham said the removal of curfews was an obvious policy to drive economic recovery.

“The most visible manifestation of the COVID-19 crisis for many Australians was the sight of supermarket shelves that had been stripped bare due to panic buying,” Mr Coningham said.

“The single most effective government action taken to address this challenge did not involve massive expenditure, but the stroke of a ministerial pen.”

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Mr Coningham said the existence of curfews prohibiting deliveries during certain hours were a significant barrier.

“Yet, in the space of just over a week, governments in state and territory jurisdictions took action to remove or suspend curfews and give logistics companies the flexibility needed to facilitate overnight deliveries into supermarkets and other retail outlets,” he said.

“This permitted stock levels to return to normal relatively quickly, despite extraordinarily heightened levels of demand.

“The benefits of removing these restrictions have been clearly demonstrated. Importantly, virtually no one in the community is calling for their return, and thus governments should feel empowered to act and make their removal a permanent part of the ‘new normal’.”

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