Opinion

Celebrating Aussie trucking’s Covid efforts

The transport industry has done an amazing job over the last 18 months – a true credit to everyone in this industry.

We’ve kept working right through this pandemic and, as essential workers, kept Weet-Bix on the shelves, and the country going.

We’ve come across many hurdles along this journey, from changing border requirements to extensive Covid tests and now new vaccination requirements.

For this, the ATA and the Australian Government have come together to celebrate the efforts of our essential industry during the Covid pandemic. 

To those drivers, mechanics, schedulers, managers, and admin staff who are working on the frontline to keep our country supplied – thank you. 

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport and longtime industry supporter, Scott Buchholz, has emphasised the tremendous effort we have made.

“Let me thank all of those drivers, transport operators, freight and logistics workers who throughout this pandemic have risen to the challenge and kept our shelves stocked and critical supplies moving,” Buchholz said. 

“The work you do is important, and you have the absolute respect and appreciation of the entire country. 

“Thank you to all of those who have made the choice to get vaccinated and those businesses big and small who have supported their teams to get vaccinated.”

Despite the challenging restrictions and requirements, our industry has done the right thing. 

In all the tens of thousands of border crossings that occur every night of the week we have only had a handful of cases in the transport industry.

One of my fully vaccinated drivers has had more than 65 Covid tests carried out on him.

This is physically and emotionally exhausting but demonstrates the commitment and dedication drivers and their families around the country are displaying.

With many operators and business owners in low spirits, it’s important the wider community recognises and celebrates the essential role they play. 

Trucks are responsible for putting food in the supermarket, medicines in the pharmacy and fuel in the service station. Everything we consume is brought to us on a truck, and our drivers should be proud.

Moving forward, Minster Buchholz says the most important thing industry can do is to get vaccinated.

“It is so important we all get vaccinated; I have had two doses of AstraZeneca and am now fully vaccinated,” Buchholz said.

“GP’s, pharmacies and vaccination hubs are supplied and ready to put jabs in arms and I ask you to join me in getting vaccinated.”

As borders continue to tighten, I urge the transport industry to move towards getting vaccinated. We are moving into a world that is going to have to learn to live with Covid. 

We need to keep up the fantastic work that has already been done to keep this momentum going. 

We need to demonstrate that we can get on with the job and keep this country moving.

About the author:

David Smith is the chair of the Australian Trucking Association.

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