States and NT put closed border exemptions together


Truck drivers are ‘essential traveller’s as industry is confirmed as essential

States and NT put closed border exemptions together
The SA Police Commissioner has issued the direction formalising the cross border travel restrictions

 

Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory have confirmed that transport and logistics is an essential service by making those working in it, particularly truck drivers, ‘essential travellers’ and therefore exempt from border controls.

In South Australia, all but essential travellers will face fines of $20,000 to individuals and $75,000 for a body corporate, not complying with directions of an official

The Police Commissioner has issued the direction formalising the cross border travel restrictions announced by the Premier earlier in the week. This includes the exemption for freight in the formal definition of 'essential traveller', the South Australian Freight Council notes.

The meaning of 'essential traveller' is set out in schedule 1, and includes:

"4. Transport and Freight Services.
Any person who in the conduct of his or her duties is providing transport or freight services into, within and out of South Australia and is required to be present in South Australia for such purpose"

While transport operators are exempt, there are also openings for related

This includes:

"5. Skillls critical to maintaining key industries or businesses

(a)  A specialist required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where appropriate skills are not available in South Australia, where the service is time critical and where the provision of the service requires thee the person be physically present in South Australia."

and

"(c) A person who is employed or engaged in agricultural or primary industry that requires the person to be physically in South Australia."

In the NT, essential travellers are also those involved in those involved in transport, freight and logistics and include:

  • Any person who in the performance of his or her duties is responsible for provision of services for transport or freight of goods, and logistics related thereto, into, within and out of the Territory. That person must avoid close contact with other persons while in the Territory by remaining self-isolated in their vehicle or accommodation
  • Ship crew, for the limited period of delivery of persons, transport or freight of goods, or logistics related thereto, into, within and out of the Territory, and for no other purpose. That person must avoid close contact with other persons while in the Territory by remaining on board ship in self-isolate until the ship departs the Territory or via a flight, where that isolate period is less than 14 days
  • A member of a flight crew who remains in self-isolate until departing the Territory via another flight, where that period is less than 14 days."

Like SA, the NT has possible space for those around transport, saying: "Any specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where the appropriate skills are not available in the Territory, where the service is time-critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in the Territory.  (An approval mechanism may be needed for these people as it is very broad as it stands)."


NSW compliance blitz hits transport industry despite coronavirus concerns


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) says Tasmania’s closure has already started, with others coming into effect over the next 24 hours.

It notes that, without exception, "jurisdictions proposing border closures to date have indicated that ‘freight and logistics’ will be exempt from restrictions – meaning freight vehicles (road and rail) can cross borders.

"ALC has strongly advocated a ‘wave through’ approach for freight vehicles with all governments – so that freight is not needlessly delayed at border check points.

"At this stage, the Northern Territory has advised it will stop trucks and interview drivers at border crossings.

"The NT Government has assured ALC that freight vehicles will be accorded the highest priority for border clearance.

"We are receiving some initial reports that Western Australia will follow a similar approach. We will provide clarity as soon as possible via social media.

"However, please note that some state/territory governments are still finalising advice as to how their border checks will work in practice."

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) states that Queensland border restrictions exempt freight transport, adding that: "Any person involved in the transport or freight of goods and logistics for goods, into, within and out of Queensland practise social distancing wherever possible including maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres where reasonably practicable and remain in self-isolation in their vehicle or accommodation."

Penalties include fines of up to $13,345.

It adds that anyone entering NT is required to fill out an NT Arrival Form. This can be filled out online here: https://bit.ly/2UAoGRW

 

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