A truckie travelling between Newcastle and Sydney was yesterday stopped by a NSW police officer and told to self-isolate for 14 days, despite doing nothing wrong, reports RoadFreight NSW (RFNSW).
In yesterday’s RFNSW newsletter, CEO Simon O’Hara expressed his frustration. “This morning at 3.30am one of our RFNSW truckies started work in Newcastle. Everyday our truckies from Newcastle do the run to Sydney and back. This morning our RFNSW truckie travelled to Ingleburn and Port Botany and was returning to Newcastle. The truckie stopped for a break at the Caltex twin servo northbound. A highway patrol officer from NSW Police approached our truckie,” he explained.
The truckie was asked if he had been to Sydney. The answer was yes. “The truckie responded that he had been to Ingleburn dropping off steel coil and then drove to Port Botany picking up empty containers. The truckie said he was returning to Newcastle with the empty containers,” wrote O’Hara.
“The NSW police officer directed the truckie to head directly home and self-isolate for 14 days. The operator of the business, a member of ours, said to me that if they did that, they would need to shut down completely.”
He added that the run between Newcastle and Sydney is a common one, which would mean a lot of truckies self-isolating, putting freight to a halt.
“There is nothing in the regulations or policies that stops truckies from doing their job. In fact, it’s the opposite, they have an exemption to perform this work because it’s essential,” wrote O’Hara.
“If every truckie is stopped and told to self-isolate, who comes from outside Sydney or who goes Newcastle/Sydney return and vice versa, then we are going to run out of truckies quickly.”
Superintendant Tony Boyd responded to O’Hara, confirming the truckie was not required to self-isolate and could continue working.
O’Hara also came to the truckies’ defence in relation to service stations not permitting truckies to use rest areas and other facilities, and using Covid as an excuse.