A WAGGA trucking company welcomes news of transport workers who come into close contact with a COVID-19 case being allowed to return to work upon a negative RAT test without having to isolate.
Ron Crouch Transport executive director Geoff Crouch said the news comes as a much more straightforward approach.
"My point of view is, if workers are subject to a close contact, having been able to get a negative RAT result, the fact they are now able to return to duties is a critical step to ensuring the nation's supply chains continue to operate," he said.
"Without doing so, the current situation we have, whereby the efficiency of a supply chain in getting necessary supplies to the shelves of supermarkets and shops will potentially worsen. "
Mr Crouch said the ease of compliance with the new regulation handed down by the NSW government is a "positive step" following two years of confusion and differing requirements between states.
"The rapidly evolving situation over the last three weeks shows how critical the trucking industry is to the everyday lives of every single Australian, and never has there been a better example of the old saying; without trucks, Australia stops," he said.
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Transport Workers' Union national secretary Michael Kaine is on the opposite side of the coin, having said the decision will only increase sickness, turning distribution centres into "hotbeds" and adding to worker shortages.
"These are the workers who've kept us going throughout the pandemic, now given no choice but to risk their own health and that of their families," Mr Kaine said.
Both parties are in union on a couple of things, however, including government support being pivotal for the trucking industry going forward.
"The federal and state governments must continue to provide whatever assistance is required to the trucking industry to ensure we are able to continue operating," Mr Crouch said.
Mr Kaine claims that free and abundant RATs for transport workers, leave for booster shots and isolation for those likely carrying the virus are also required of the government in light of the Omicron wave.
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