National Cabinet has formalised the Freight Movement Code to implement a consistent set of health measures across borders for freight operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Code, endorsed by State, Territory and Commonwealth Infrastructure and Transport Ministers, outlines enforceable measures that have been specified to deliver greater consistency between states and territories in their implementation of border controls, especially for routine COVID-19 testing, self-isolation requirements while working and reporting requirements to facilitate contact tracing.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said all levels of government were continuing to work together in combining the best health advice with feedback from the transport industry.

“Streamlining the process for crossing borders will make life easier for our freight operators,” Mr McCormack said.

“We have always known Australia relies on our freight operators, but if this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s just how far that reliance extends.

“The work our freight operators do keeps our shelves stocked and our local economies running.

“Today, we have acted again to ensure those operators can do their work safely and efficiently, strengthening the Australian economy.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said the Code would significantly assist the freight transport industry.

“Having been involved in the freight industry for many years, I know how valuable it is to have the certainty that this Code brings,” Mr Buchholz said.

“These are unchartered times and our freight industry is playing a critical role, it underpins jobs, strengthens the national interest and secures our future prosperity.

“Aligning state and territory measures through this Code will help reduce delays in the supply chain, ensuring our freight operators can keep moving safely and efficiently.”

The Code’s announcement follows other steps taken by the Federal Government for the freight industry, which included ensuring rest stops received an exemption from various restrictions in place earlier in the pandemic, as well as the Domestic Border Control Freight Movement Protocol endorsed by National Cabinet in July.

The Code will support strong efforts already being taken by industry to maintain public safety and ensure measures take account of practical realities, for example, where routine COVID-19 testing is included in border measures, freight workers won’t need to be tested more than once during a seven day period.

To read the Code, click here.

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