If truckers get this CONVID19 virus and Australia will shut down within hours. The supply lines stop, everyone starves, no medications, nothing. This is not over reaction or scare mongering, this is a fact. The Government has done everything they can to shut the country down as it is – we are realistically looking now at 50% unemployment and SCOMO has decreed this could be the case with shutdowns etc for 6 months. All the politicians have to do is keep being their idiotic selves and the goulash will hit the fan anyway.
Decades of neglect have left the trucking sector understaffed and at severe risk of collapse if coronavirus spreads throughout its drivers, a West Australian truckie has warned.
South West Express owner Mark Mazza said the average age of Australian truck drivers was over 60 and without younger drivers replacing them, numbers had dwindled.
Mr Mazza said with panic-buying sending grocery deliveries through the roof, the industry didn’t have the manpower to withstand an outbreak.
“Honestly if the transport industry gets the virus amongst the drivers it is going to shut down the country overnight,” he said. “I’m not an alarmist, I am a realist.
“If it gets into the transport industry and our truck drivers are at home for two weeks and there is nobody to drive those trucks then the supply chain breaks down rapidly.”
Mr Mazza said the industry had been taken for granted by politicians and maligned by the media, which had turned younger drivers away.
He has sent letters and nagged politicians for years calling for a trucking apprenticeship to improve the prestige of the industry and skill level of drivers entering.
“This is a wake-up call if we get out of it,” he said.
“They really need to start taking transport seriously. The only way to do that is to have a proper TAFE qualification, forget the [registered training organisations], they’re only interested in the financial outcome.
“We need a government-run TAFE system with proper facilities where they teach people how to properly operate a truck.”
The transport industry has had a volatile two months, with companies either experiencing plummeting demand, or too much to handle.
The Australian Trucking Association said container business had dropped 70 to 80 per cent and interstate transport had also plummeted.
In a submission to the federal government, the association asked for an increase in the instant asset write-off threshold to $450,000 for Australian-made equipment and the extension of the delivery time frame to December 31, 2020.
It also asked to set the road user charge on fuel to zero for the June quarter 2020 and defer increases in road user and registration charges for a year.