There are calls for Covid-19 testing clinics to be set up at heavy vehicle safety stations across the Hunter to help drivers ferrying vital food and supplies to the region get a swab while their trucks are weighed.
Regular screening requirements are in place for the industry and drivers need to get tested every 3 to 7 days.
The NSW Government set up the state’s first freight-friendly site at Wetherill Park in Sydney on August 7, followed by another at Taree.
After their success, there is a push for the Hunter’s 12 Mile Creek station and Mount White to be immediately set up to accommodate Covid testing for heavy vehicle drivers.
Swansea MP Yasmin Catley believes it will kill two birds with one stone.
“Using the 12 Mile Creek site to perform tests will allow truck drivers to obtain their tests whilst their vehicles are weighed,” she said.
According to the Ms Catley, drivers are often spending hours waiting in line to be tested during their rest breaks, posing a major health and road safety concern, as well as increasing costs for operators.
“This will eliminate the difficulties they encounter, without cutting into their rest hours,” she said.
The Swansea MP has joined the NSW Transport Workers’ Union in calling on the Berejiklian Government to implement the plan as soon as possible.
“Truck drivers are critical to keeping Hunter supermarket shelves stocked and our society functioning during the current lockdown. The Berejiklian Government must conduct Covid testing at our region’s weigh stations to support these critical workers and to protect our community.”