At the beginning of the pandemic the idea of getting rid of curfews was all about ensuring the supermarket shelves remained fully stocked, while the population set about a prolonged panic buy. Now, the situation is different with shorter lockdowns and much of the economy running close to normal, but also few calls from residents in formerly curfewed areas for their return.
Now, the call is for many of the curfews, due to return later this year, to be permanently dropped. David Smith, Australian Trucking Association Chair, called for this last year when responding to the Prime Minister’s address to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia, where he pointed out that, “Trucks were allowed to resupply along roads and during hours where they were previously banned. And the sun came up the next day.”
Now, the Australian Logistics Council says it is is working with Commonwealth, state and territory governments to make the suspension of delivery curfews permanent Australia-wide.
Research commissioned in 2020 by ALC showed over 70 per cent of respondents supported permanently removing curfews on overnight deliveries and strong majority support for the removal of other operational restrictions, including bans on heavy vehicle access along certain routes, port operations and airport noise curfews.
“ALC has long advocated for the removal of such blanket restrictions, many of which date from the 1980s, an era of different considerations said Kirk Coningham, ALC CEO. “Inflexible regulations like curfews do nothing to recognise or incentivise take-up of new and emerging vehicle technologies that can be deployed to undertake freight tasks less intrusively.
“Clearly, greater flexibility can work, so let’s work towards a more balanced system’ flexible enough to accommodate modern customer expectations and agile enough to harness advantages presented by modern vehicle technology.”
Currently curfew removals have been extended for the for most of the first quarter in all states with the exception for Victoria who have partially reinstated pre-covid curfews to state owned roads.