Facebook groups have lit up in recent days with scores of examples of truckies being made to wait for hours at the Taree ‘freight-friendly’ testing site, or shut out altogether due to a lack of kits.
A driver told ABC News that he went to the Mid North Coast, NSW, site yesterday afternoon only to be told by a security guard that the centre had been waiting for new kits since Saturday, and that some had to be returned because they were faulty.
“I’m not happy about it because we’re supposed to by law have it done,” he told the ABC.
Seriously get you 💩 together. You made the requirements for truck driver’s to be tested but don’t provide enough test kits or test sites with HV access and longer hours. Trucks run 24/7 it’s not a cushy 9-5 gig FFS
— Leanne dyer (@Leannedyer14) July 19, 2021
A Transport for NSW spokesperson said five ‘freight-friendly’ testing sites it runs had seen “unprecedented increase in demand” after the mandatory testing rules came into effect, and it was working closely with NSW Health to ensure they were stocked to service demand.
“Freight drivers are able to use any Covid-19 testing centre to fulfil the requirements for mandatory testing and are not limited to using the dedicated freight sites,” the spokesperson said.
Big Rigs has asked TfNSW today for an update on when the Taree site might be open again after hearing reports now of three closures in the last four days.
NSW supposedly has five sites open for truckies 24/7: Taree Service Centre, Pacific Hwy Narrabarba rest area, Princes Hwy Forbes Caltex Service Centre, Newell Hwy Narrandera Roadhouse, and the Newell Hwy Tarcutta truck change-over yard, Sydney St, off Hume Hwy.