Government Finds its Feet and Moves Forward

government finds its feet and moves forward

Whether the political class noticed the fantastic effort and innovative thinking which went into the trucking industry and its success in keeping the supermarket shelves of the nation stocked though border closures, fire and flood, will be playing out in the next few months as the new government finds its feet and moves forward. 

If the kinds of changes needed are going to get up, there is a need to ensure that all levels of government understand the issues and are properly briefed on the preferred options. This is the topic tackled by Gary Mahon, Queensland Trucking Association CEO, talking at the Australian Trucking Association Conference, about what the issues like border closures should demonstrate to the governments of Australia. 

government finds its feet and moves forward

“The border closures were quite significant at the time, the first part of their efficacy was to get governments to understand the inter-dependency of freight between states,” said Gary. “I think there was a view by governments that each state could fundamentally independently look after itself, in terms of freight. And I do genuinely believe there was pretty active consideration of shutting the borders full stop. 

“So quite a quite a lot of the early work was to get that understanding through and that worked fairly well. From there it was non stop. I know with my colleagues in other states, they had different avenues that they needed to pursue. In Queensland, we were somewhat fortunate, and we had strong networks, the Office of the Chief Health Officer, the transport minister, and police and others. 

“We did our best to make sure that practical measures were put in place at borders, but they were very difficult times for operators, I think our main role was to try and get as practical a solution in place as we could, and get that information out to our people as fast as we could. In terms of lessons to take away, my main comment is that I can’t see why interstate freight shouldn’t be a part of emergency planning for this country.”

When governments are developing an emergency plan for floods, fire and other emergency situations, movement of freight should be a consideration in those plans, including an agreed set of national trade routes, with an agreed set of arrangements for the movement of freight. According to Gary, although there can be state-specific rules in some case, there should be an agreed emergency plan for freight as a part of the natural disaster emergency plans in Australia.

government finds its feet and moves forward

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