A dedicated Covid testing facility for truckies will open at the BP in Charlton, west of Toowoomba, from 8am tomorrow.
The site is the second to support drivers crossing Queensland’s border following the establishment of a drive-through facility at the Port of Brisbane, which opened last week.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the temporary testing sites were needed to support the mandatory testing regime that came into effect on July 30 for freight and logistics drivers coming into Queensland and working around the state.
“Mandatory testing is vital to help stop the potential spread of Covid-19 and keep essential drivers, their families and their colleagues safe,” Bailey said.
“These are challenging times for everyone and the freight industry has continued to step up to meet the additional requirements that have been asked of them since the pandemic began.
“The heavy vehicle industry ensures shop shelves remain stocked and lifesaving vaccines reach their destination, so I thank them for continuing to work with us to keep supply chains remain strong and goods flowing across our border.”
Bailey also thanked the Port of Brisbane Authority for its work and cooperation so far as the site has seen 80 to 100 truck drivers tested each day since it opened, and the Queensland Trucking Association.
“There are also three heavy-vehicle testing sites open in Acacia Ridge, Boondall and Robina to test prime movers without trailers, light and heavy rigid trucks.
“We’re continuing to work with industry and pathology providers to identify more testing site options that are suitable for heavy vehicles.
“We expect to have a third dedicated facility up and running in north Brisbane early next week.”
Queensland Trucking Association CEO Gary Mahon said the opening of the dedicated truck-only testing facility at Charlton will provide much needed relief for drivers using this major freight route.
“We appreciate the response by Transport and Main Roads and QML to get this facility up and running,” he said.
“We know the pressure on drivers to comply with mandatory testing is rising, and the opening of this testing facility will be very much welcomed by the industry.
“We will continue to advocate for common sense solutions and support drivers to perform their essential role and keep freight moving around the country.”
Heavy vehicle drivers who have entered a declared a hotspot or affected area are required to meet testing regimes under the Operational protocol for freight movements entering Queensland (QLD Freight Protocol).
Bailey said a class exemption was currently in place for freight and logistics operators entering Queensland with perishable goods or livestock until 1am on August 9.
“We will keep working with industry to ensure freight operators transporting perishable products and livestock can keep supplies flowing across our borders,” he said.
“It is more important than ever to know exactly what is required, including the border passes and documentation heavy vehicle drivers need to enter Queensland.”
Charlton test site fast facts [from TMR]
- The site is only for heavy vehicles. Walk-ins and light vehicles will not be tested.
- Located at the BP Truck Stop, 10783 Warrego Highway, Charlton QLD.
- Operational 7 days a week.
- 8am-4pm Monday to Friday.
- 8am-3pm Saturday and Sunday.
- Drivers will exit heavy vehicle for test.
- QML staff will be onsite to assist drivers.
- QML will provide a hard copy evidence of your test. Results will follow.