Release date: 8/09/2010

With road closures and major pressure on the national supply chain as a result of the Victorian floods, there are calls for delivery schedules to become more flexible to reduce pressure on drivers who may be delayed through road closures.

Transport Workers Union national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the Union would be monitoring developments in the state, and would be calling a meeting of all major transport parties including clients, if the situation worsened and main supply routes were threatened.

“There are people who have lost crops and their belongings, and that is a terrible for families and small business people across the state,” Mr Sheldon said. “We want to ensure that the support needed now and in the recovery is there and available, and flexible enough to see the thousands of people in these areas have access to whatever they need.”

“The major routes north and west of Melbourne sees around half of the national road freight task and major clients should have contingency plans in place for this sort of event to ensure supply.

“But at either end of the route, there also needs to be tolerance. Far too often drivers face the same schedule regardless of road conditions, with the threat of client-enforced penalties or long periods of waiting time if they miss slots.

“When you are leaving Sydney or Brisbane or Adelaide this morning, you don’t know how long it will take to get through to major centres in regional Victoria. Drivers and transport companies will be under time pressures, due to road closures and delays, and that needs to be assessed,” Mr Sheldon said.

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