Victoria’s freight industry has been left to fend for itself as it tries to ensure it can get essential food and goods to our supermarket shelves.
Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight Roma Britnell said a number of industry representatives are still unable to access rapid antigen tests (RATs) for workers.
“The Andrews Government sat on its hands for months and refused to acknowledge RAT’s as an appropriate tool to help with the pandemic management, despite the Liberal Nationals calling for their use since August,” Ms Britnell said.
“Then overnight, RAT’s became a crucial piece of testing equipment, but no one can access them because the government failed to order enough in time to ensure the stocks of RAT kits were there.”
Under a change to restrictions, workers in food and beverage manufacturing, distribution and packaging can be exempt from close contact isolation requirements provided they return negative RAT’s over five days.
However, Ms Britnell said a lack of state government planning meant the industry was not given priority access to RAT kits, exacerbating the stress on the supply chain.
“Daniel Andrews waited until Christmas Eve to order the testing kits when they have been readily available in Europe and the US for months,”
“There’s no point in easing restrictions for the freight industry to allow close contacts to work if they return regular negative RAT results when they can’t access the testing kits in the first place due to Daniel Andrews’ sheer incompetence.”