ALC in new push for end to truck curfews

Need seen to make hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic permanent

ALC in new push for end to truck curfews
Kirk Coningham


With states reinstating border closures and inner-city lockdowns due to the latest hotspots, Australian Logistics Council (ALC) is again calling for 24/7 freight delivery, with a view to restrictions being removed permanently.

Local jurisdiction delivery curfews were temporarily lifted to allow the 24/7 delivery of essential supplies last March after pressure from industry bodies, with the ALC in the vanguard.

The curfews lifted nationally to allow freight to move freely during this period to meet extraordinary levels of consumer demand.

Now, with states reinstating border closures and inner-city lockdowns due to the latest hotspots, the need for 24/7 freight delivery is once being called for by ALC, with the view that curfews should be removed permanently.

It points out that research – in the form of Community attitudes to freight and coronavirus, Newgate Pulse Issues Tracking Report – that ALC commissioned last year showed more than 70 per cent of respondents supported permanently removing curfews on overnight deliveries and strong majority support for the removal of other operational restrictions, including bans on heavy vehicle access along certain routes, port operations and airport noise curfews. 

Related article: ALC welcomed Qld delivery curfew exemptions in mid 2020

"ALC has long advocated for the removal of such blanket restrictions, many of which date from the 1980s – an era of different considerations," ALC CEO Kirk Coningham says.

"Inflexible regulations like curfews do nothing to recognise or incentivise take-up of new and emerging vehicle technologies that can be deployed to undertake freight tasks less intrusively.

"As the prime minister himself noted, when the curfews were removed in March, ‘the sun came up the next day. It was extraordinary.’

"Clearly, greater flexibility can work, so let’s work towards a more balanced system – flexible enough to accommodate modern customer expectations and agile enough to harness advantages presented by modern vehicle technology."

The ALC argues that keeping curfews off will give logistics operators and their customers a greater capacity to minimise their impact on other road users.

"Simply defaulting to blanket restrictions designed for a pre-pandemic world would be a retrograde policy response," it says.

"Currently curfew removals have been extended for most of the first quarter in all states with the exception for Victoria who have partially reinstated pre-Covid curfews to state owned roads.

"ALC will continue to work closely with individual jurisdictions to ensure the free movement of freight during this time."

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