No jab, no job reality hitting home for interstate truckies


Unvaxxed interstate truckies at one of the east coast’s biggest fleets are facing an uncertain future with mandatory jab deadlines looming in Victoria and South Australia.

One driver who approached Big Rigs on the condition of anonymity, said he was among at least half a dozen or so at the company who had decided not to get vaccinated.

The 38-year-old and his colleagues are now hoping the operator can find them roles as intrastate drivers, or they could be out of a job.

“I’m on unpaid leave until I get vaccinated, or they can find me local work, but because there are so many other drivers also looking for work I don’t know what is going to happen now; I’m a bit concerned about it to be honest,” said the Queensland-based truckie.

“The company is a good company, but they have been put in a really shitty position. They don’t want to let me go.”

The truckie, whose normal run takes him though Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, stressed that he’s not an anti-vaxxer.

He’s simply choosing not to get vaccinated because of a pre-existing blood clot condition and minor heart issues, neither of which qualifies him for an exemption.

“Do I risk my health and keep going? It’s just really worrying for me and hard to find right information when you’ve got people like Senators on one side saying there are all these problems and issues, then on the other side of the government they’re saying, no, no, it’s fine to get.

“I don’t know where to get the right information, and I’ve got a family to take care of so I don’t want to make the wrong choice.”

Although unsure exactly why other drivers in the company are vax-averse, he’s chosen to come forward with his story to highlight what he believes is a serious issue for the industry.

“It’s upsetting a lot of my mates. They’re losing jobs and families are suffering because of this.”

From September 27, all truckies hoping to cross the SA border will need at least one jab, while drivers entering Victoria from NSW will need to be able to show evidence that they have had at least their first shot from September 23.

Both Steve Shearer, the executive director of the South Australian Road Transport Association, and Peter Anderson, the CEO of the Victorian Transport Association, have raised concerns about the short deadlines and the ramifications for industry as a result.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend