Floods putting pressure on truck drivers: TWU


Truck drivers forced to wait as rising waters close freight routes are being put under financial stress, union says

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | January 30, 2013

Truck drivers in Queensland forced to wait as rising waters cut off freight routes are being put under financial pressure, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) says.

TWU Queensland Secretary Peter Biagini says thousands of dollars in produce is being lost on the back of stranded trucks throughout the state and that drivers are also feeling the brunt of the floods.

"Many drivers are not paid for their loading, unloading and waiting times, and so when something like this happens, the pressure to keep going is huge," he says.

"Without trucks Australia stops and we are calling on all drivers, companies and clients to think safe and be safe as they move goods to their destinations."

Biagini says care must be taken when driving on roads and structures that have been submerged or washed out. He has also urged road users to be wary of fallen trees and power lines.

Woolworths says it is working hard to get stock to stores in Queensland and that it is closely monitoring the situation in New South Wales.

"Although weather conditions are improving in Queensland, there are still road closures which are causing delays to deliveries to some stores," the company says.

Meanwhile, rail freight operations in Queensland are at a standstill, with Aurizon awaiting clearance to resume.

The closure to the rail lines has forced Aurizon – formerly known as QR National – to turn to trucks to get freight moving again.

"In the interim, all customer requirements are being met via road, including services to Mackay," a spokesperson for the company says.

"From Mackay some freight is being railed to Townsville and Cairns."

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