INDUSTRY body the Victorian Transport Association has supported changes to the Victorian Road Safety Act aimed at safeguarding and securing the movement of freight.

The changes, together with an initiative announced recently by Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne, follow lobbying from the VTA and other industry groups to ensure the movement of essential goods on the state’s roads.

Chief executive Peter Anderson said concessions the Association achieved from local councils, with the backing of the state government – for heavy vehicle curfews to be eased have now been formally gazetted and the Road Safety Act changed.

“This means that any driver engaged in the delivery of food or personal hygiene products to retail outlets are permitted to use roads that display a ‘no trucks’ sign at any time of the day, and that any driver that has stopped in a loading zone to collect or deliver goods from a retail outlet may remain there for as long as it takes to complete the delivery or drop off,” VTA chief executive Peter Anderson said.

The changes are in place until 21 September 2020.

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Mr Anderson also noted approval by Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne of new rules exempting essential businesses from noise restrictions.

“This will allow for 24-hour dispatch and delivery until the current State of Emergency is lifted, and for three months after,” he said.

“It applies to the dispatch and delivery of goods including food, drink, groceries, medicine and cleaning and personal protection products.”

Warehouses, factories and farms are also covered by the exemption.

“Both initiatives were advocated for to help supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies and other essential businesses to meet the significant demand pressures brought about by the coronavirus,” Mr Anderson said. “We appreciate the Victorian government’s receptiveness to changes to ensure uninterrupted access to the goods Victorians need,” Mr Anderson said.

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