With six truck-friendly PCR testing sites in regional NSW set to close, NatRoad warns that stock issues and high costs of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) pose a very real issue for the heavy vehicle industry.
NatRoad is asking the NSW Government to urgently rethink the imminent closure of the six sites that service the critical freight routes of the Pacific and Hume Highway: Ballina, Marulan, Narrandera, Tarcutta, Taree and Yass.
NatRoad chairman Scott Davidson says the government intends closing most PCR testing stations as RATs come into greater use.
“We understand that will occur from January 17 but the closure of the six truck-friendly sites in regional areas could happen as soon as this week,” Davidson said.
“We accept that the downscaling of PCR stations is inevitable with changes to border crossing and close contact rules, but there’s still uncertainty while bureaucrats scramble to amend regulations.
“The truck-friendly testing sites were a godsend to our industry and NSW led the way with their introduction.
“We just want them to stay in place until RATs are more fairly priced and become more readily available.”
Davidson said there is a strong case to make RATs available free-of-charge to essential industries like road transport.