The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has renewed calls to make the suspension of delivery curfews permanent Australia-wide.
After lobbying by the ALC and other peak bodies in March last year, local jurisdiction truck curfews were temporarily lifted to allow the 24/7 delivery of essential supplies.
Now, with states reinstating border closures and inner-city lockdowns due to the latest hotspots, the ALC said it’s clear that trucks need permanent round-the-clock access to help alleviate the impacts of panic buying.
Research commissioned in 2020 by ALC showed over 70% of respondents supported permanently removing curfews on overnight deliveries and strong majority support for the removal of other operational restrictions, including bans on heavy vehicle access along certain routes, port operations and airport noise curfews.
“ALC has long advocated for the removal of such blanket restrictions, many of which date from the 1980s – an era of different considerations,” said ALC CEO Kirk Coningham.
“Inflexible regulations like curfews do nothing to recognise or incentivise take-up of new and emerging vehicle technologies that can be deployed to undertake freight tasks less intrusively.
“As the Prime Minister himself noted, when the curfews were removed in March, “the sun came up the next day. It was extraordinary.
“Clearly, greater flexibility can work, so let’s work towards a more balanced system – flexible enough to accommodate modern customer expectations and agile enough to harness advantages presented by modern vehicle technology.”
Keeping curfews off will give logistics operators and their customers a greater capacity to minimise their impact on other road users, said the ALC.
“Simply defaulting to blanket restrictions designed for a pre-pandemic world would be a retrograde policy response.”
Currently curfew removals have been extended for most of the first quarter in all states with the exception for Victoria which has partially reinstated pre-covid curfews to state-owned roads.
ALC said it will continue to work closely with individual jurisdictions to ensure the free movement of freight during this time.