Frustrated by the mixed messaging from the top, truckies are growing increasingly angry and distressed over conflicting roadhouse dining directives.
The national cabinet says truckies facilities must stay open during the pandemic, an order reiterated by the NSW deputy police commissioner Gary Warboys at a media conference today.
But it seems the memo isn’t getting through to where it counts with the Wagga Wagga region now the latest area impacted by another police blitz on truckies’ dining-in facilities.
Social media is rife with reports of truckies pulling into their favourite eateries only to find tables and chairs packed away and distressed staff telling drivers their hands are tied.
“The cops at Coolac just kicked six truck drivers out of the dining room and shut the kitchen down,” angry interstate driver Sonja White texted Big Rigs late last night.
“We are essential freight delivery drivers and now we can’t friggin eat while we do our job.
“We keeping Australia moving and we are treated like filthy dirty, germ carrying idiots because we need to deliver to the ungrateful disrespectful people.”
Another interstate driver pulled into the same roadhouse, a popular stop with truckies trying to manage their fatigue, earlier today to witness highway patrol officers telling the restaurant to pack up all the chairs and tables in the truck lounge.
It’s the same story in Wagga, with The Happy Truckers roadhouse posting on social media that it had been told by police they were breaching the current Health Act by continuing to allow truckies to dine in.
“Although we have been following all protocols and the Police Commissioner said this morning roadhouses will stay open, the police legal team have decided otherwise,” the post reads.
Service stations have been told they’ll be forced to close if they’re caught serving meals to truckies onsite.
They are fighting for an exemption – for what they say are crucial rest breaks. pic.twitter.com/tEM5oY60uc
— PRIME7Border (@PRIME7Border) August 20, 2021
Another operator told Big Rigs he worrries about what impact the shutdowns will have on the mental health of his drivers who are already feeling the strain from border delays and the regimented testing.