Transport Operations Do Not Need to Reduce by 33%

 

Transport Operations Do Not Need to Reduce by 33%

The release of a High Risk COVID Safe Plan by the Victorian Government at the weekend for businesses within the stage 4 region where heightened restrictions apply, has created a great deal of confusion and anxiety due to variances of wording between the new High Risk COVID Safe Plan and the COVID Safe Plan that businesses that are eligible to continue trading must have in place. 

While it is pleasing to talk to so many companies that are trying to do the right thing and ensure they comply with the directions, the variance in wording has made compliance difficult and open to interpretation. 

The following information has now been confirmed through Freight Victoria and through the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 

Freight operations is a permitted industry. The only business operating reductions within Transport, Postal and Warehousing relate to warehouses and distribution centres. These restrictions can be viewed at this link. Outside of the restrictions for warehouses and distribution centres, no other restrictions apply beyond operating in accordance with a COVID Safe Plan. 

The direction for reduction of the workforce in warehousing and distribution centres does NOT include transport, loading and unloading and vehicle maintenance operations. Transport fleets and vehicles can continue to operate under the demand and workload they are currently operating under and do not have to meet the direction of reduction by 33% 

Please continue to refer to the VTA Coronavirus Information Page for the latest information and updates.

Victorian Stage 4 Restrictions – Update

 

Victorian Stage 4 Restrictions – Update

Australian Logistics Council

The Victorian Government has provided industry-specific guidance for the Transport, Postal and Warehousing sector to assist in compliance with its Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions.

Permitted businesses can only have employees on-site if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work from home and the employer and employee comply with the Directions currently in force, including the Workplace Directions and the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme Directions.

From 11:59pm tonight, new restrictions for warehouses and distribution centres come into effect. 

These restrictions apply to warehouses and distribution centres statewide, except supermarket businesses and businesses supplying medicine, pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment, who are under different requirements.

Warehouses and distribution centres in Victoria must:

  • enact a High Risk COVID Safe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response if coronavirus cases are linked to their workplace;
  • reduce the number of people in the workplace (generally to not more than 67 per cent of their daily peak and daily total workforce);
  • increase the regularity of deep cleaning; and
  • enforce the wearing of face coverings by staff on site.

 Employees at distribution centres and warehouses are:

  • prohibited from car-pooling to and from work;
  • able to work at only one premises; and
  • required to inform their employer if they share accommodation with anyone working at another high-risk workplace.

Businesses with specific questions regarding their circumstances are encouraged to contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

 

Update on Queensland border controls

The Queensland Government has announced tighter border restrictions will come into effect from 1:00am on Saturday, 8 August.

The exemption framework for freight movement remains in place under these tighter controls.

Freight workers must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass that indicates they are entering Queensland to perform an essential activity.

Freight workers are also reminded that as much as possible, they must remain isolated from the general public and in their vehicle or accommodation until they depart Queensland, or for 14 days (whichever is shorter).

VTA/VWMA COVID-19 Update – 7-08-2020

VTA/VWMA COVID-19 Update

Friday 7 August 2020 

The VTA and VWMA will continue to provide members with timely updates as changes are made with respect regulations and requirements in respect of COVID-19, particularly as they relate to the transport, freight, logistics, waste and recycling sectors. 

To complement this, we will be producing a fortnightly COVID-19 Update where recent news will be consolidated and links to key information provided. We appreciate there is a great deal of uncertainty in the wake of Stage 4 lockdown restrictions taking effect in metropolitan Melbourne, and our offices are open for business to provide information to members to support their businesses. 

In this issue: 

  • Tougher restrictions in effect in Melbourne and regional Victoria
  • Warehouse and Distribution Centres
  • Application of Victorian COVID Safety Plan
  • Support for businesses and individuals 
  • Border Crossing Restrictions
  • Tougher restrictions in effect in Melbourne and regional Victoria 

As members would be aware, tougher restrictions are now in place in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Stage 4 restrictions now apply in Melbourne which restricts businesses to varying extents and curfews the community to their homes between 8pm and 5am. Please note the following: 

The Victorian Government has provided guidance on industry sectors and new work restrictions. The Stage 4 Restrictions template defines who can work and who cannot can be found here. The Government has also issued advice clarifying ‘Permitted Work Premises’ for the purposes of Restricted Activity Directions. Unless an exception applies, only Permitted Work Premises may operate with on-site operations during the restricted activity period in the Restricted Area. This updated advice is available here. 

Warehouse and Distribution Centres 

We have received many questions regarding warehouses and distribution centres and the extent to which they are required to scale back their operations to comply with output reduction requirements. Business Victoria advises that except for supermarket businesses and businesses supplying medicine, pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment, warehouses and distribution centres are required to operate with no more than 67 per cent of their daily peak and daily total workforce. Please visit the Business Victoria website here for further information about warehouse and distribution operating restrictions. 

Application of Victorian COVID Safety Plan 

Every business that can remain open must have a Victorian COVID Safety Plan. This Plan should be completed and carried by all workers that travel on our roads in performing their work duties. Please follow this link for access to the Victorian COVID Safety Plan and guidance material. Every worker must also carry a Permitted Worker Permit. This document must be completed by the employer and worker and carried by the worker when on Victorian roads. Please refer to this link for access to the Victorian Permitted Worker Plan. The Government has also clarified advice for essential workers who require access to childcare so they can continue to work. An additional permit is available to access childcare is required and is available here. 

Support for businesses and individuals  

Please refer to the VTA Coronavirus Information Page for current and updated information on financial assistance and support for business and individuals. Packages have been updated to reflect the tightening of restrictions in Victoria and additional Commonwealth assistance in the form of the introduction of pandemic payment to support Victorians who cannot earn a wage during quarantine,  extensions to JobKeeper beyond September, expansion of the Victorian Business Support Package 

 

Border Crossing Restrictions 

ACT 

A border pass is required if entering ACT from Victoria. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required. Freight and logistics operators must apply for an exemption at least 48 hours before intended travel date. Transiting through the ACT for the purposes of freight is currently exempt. Follow this link for further information.  

New South Wales 

A border pass is required if entering NSW from Victoria. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required. However, COVID-19 testing every seven days is encouraged, but not mandatory, as part of a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Freight drivers should apply for a border pass under the “Critical services – movement of freight or persons on a commercial basis” exemption category. The freight industry is excused from self-isolation requirements provided the employer has a COVID-Safe plan in place. Facemasks are recommended. Freight workers who do not have any symptoms who have been tested for COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate while waiting for test results. Follow this link for further information.  

Northern Territory 

A border pass is required if entering Northern Territory from any other state. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required. Visitors who have been in a declared coronavirus hotspot will no longer be able to gain access or quarantine in Northern Territory. Heavy vehicle drivers moving essential, critical or urgent items are exempt from this, however they must quarantine in their truck or a hotel. Anyone travelling to the Northern Territory must complete an arrival border crossing application and submit an application and have a letter signed by the Chief Health Officer (or their delegate) outlining the conditions under which they can enter the NT and work. An application for exempt status must be completed and submitted with a copy of your COVID-19 management plan. Follow this link for further information  

Queensland 

A Queensland Border Declaration Pass is required if entering Queensland from any other state. This is part of tighter restrictions that came into effect on Saturday, 8 August. The exemption framework for freight movement remains in place under these tighter controls. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are not required, however the Queensland Chief Health Officer (CHO) has issued advice encouraging freight and logistics operators entering Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot to have their drivers tested for COVID-19, within 7 days of their arrival in Queensland and maintain a weekly testing regime while they travel through hotspots. Drivers should adhere to additional health regulations including self-isolating in truck or accommodation when not working and keeping records of close contacts for 14 days. Follow this link for further information. 

 South Australia 

A border pass is required if entering South Australia from any other state. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are required and essential freight workers will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and again on day 12 if they remain in the state, unless they can provide evidence of a test or test results from the preceding seven days. Only essential travellers, including essential freight workers, will be able to enter South Australia from Victoria. If you are an essential freight worker, you will need to provide evidence in your cross border travel registration form, including a letter from your employer stating the duties required to be undertaken and details of the locations, ABN number and your name and address. All essential freight workers who are residents of Victoria must wear a facemask when entering South Australia and self-quarantine in their truck or other private arrangements when not undertaking work-related duties. A cross border pre-approval form must be completed at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Follow this link for further information. 

Tasmania 

A border pass is required if entering Tasmania from any other state. Mandatory COVID-19 tests on arrival in Tasmania are required for essential travellers who have spent time in a designated NSW hotspot or any part of Victoria in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania. This will be conducted at the port of entry into Tasmania. Essential travellers, including freight and logistics, from Victoria will still be able to apply to travel to Tasmania for a specified purpose. All travellers will still be required to provide travel details on arrival. The most effective way of doing this is via the G2G PASS. Follow this link for further information. 

 

How Victoria’s restrictions will affect supplies all around the country

 

ABC interview with

SCLAA VIC/TAS Director

Kyle Rogers

 

“How Victoria’s restrictions will affect

supplies all around the country”.

 

CLICK HERE to play

Update of Boarder Controls (NSW and SA)

Update of Boarder Controls (NSW and SA)

(courtesy of VTA)

While the transport industry has been spared many of the restrictions so many other business sectors are having to endure, we are now feeling the brunt of the continual increase of COVID-19 cases that are stemming within Victoria.

Due to the increase in COVID cases in Victoria, neighbouring states have decided to increase their controls of travel from Victoria into New South Wales and South Australia.

The interstate trucks that drive across these two borders each day and night are approximately 15,000 one way.

The average tonnage carried is in excess of 650,000 Tonne per day connecting to thousands of supply chain connections

While the transport and freight industry has been softly affected in Border crossings there are now new restrictions that will create enormous issues and stress for individual companies that need to service customers in other states.

As from today 29th July 2020 all drivers will need to include in their cross-border documentation, that include individual permits and COVID Safety Plans into New South Wales and South Australia, valid evidence of having a COVID-19 test within the past 7 days.

These directives are in direct contravention to health orders in Victoria from the Department of Health and Human Services.

In Victoria, we are directed to have a COVID-19 test only if we have specific symptoms or feel unwell.

We must then quarantine until the results are provided within 3-5 days.

Also, we are not given any written or electronic receipt of the test.

If we were able to get a COVID-19 test every 7 days we would be in breach of Victorian directives if we did not quarantine after testing.

The contradictions are obvious and the VTA has raised this issue as a matter of urgency with the Victorian Ports and Freight Minister, the NSW Roads Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.

We are looking to have these directives altered to enable border crossings to be workable and still maintain individual safety.

Please refer to the original directives from the respective states:

 

COVID-19 infection control training

Subsidised infection control training fast-tracked for re-opening businesses

The Australian Government together with state and territory governments have established a new $80 million Infection Control Training Fund to fast-track fee free (or low cost) infection control training to support the re-opening of customer-facing businesses nationwide. The infection control short courses are the first national training products developed by the new Australian Industry Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.

To keep Australian workers safe during COVID-19, the Australian Government has announced four national infection control skill sets endorsed by COAG Skills Council.  These skill sets offer nationally recognised training to frontline workers in the retail, food handling, and transport and logistics industries. The infection control skill sets are the first national training products developed by the new Australian Industry Skills Emergency Response Sub-Committee in response to COVID-19.

The Government is working with the states and territories to develop a new National Partnership Agreement with matched funding provisions that will see $80 million available to support this critical infection control training in customer-facing businesses nationwide.

Around 80,000 workers across industries including retail, tourism, hospitality cleaning, security, transport and logistics will pay no fee or a small fee for training previously only widely available in the health sector.

Participants will learn a range of skills, including:

  • Hand hygiene practices
  • Effective surface cleaning
  • Use of personal protective equipment
  • Disposal of contaminated waste
  • Hazard identification, control and reporting
  • Appropriate protocols and responses in the event of an incident
  • Knowledge regarding the basis of infection and transmission

For more information on the new training visit the AISC website and for information on where this training is available visit training.gov.au or skills departments in your state or territory.

New SCLAA National Partner – Clade Solutions

New SCLAA National Partner

Clade Solutions

The SCLAA welcomes our newest National Partner, Clade Solutions. As a not for profit Industry Association, run by members for members, our ability to support the SCLAA infrastructure and to expand is highly dependent on our National Partners. We ask all our members to support our valued National Partners where they can. 

Clade Solutions Overview

SCRIM Safety First: Put your employee safety back into the heart of your operations

Clade Solutions is an Australia-based tech consultancy and Gold Microsoft Partner.  We help customers solve digital modernisation and transformation challenges and accelerate their business growth by leveraging Microsoft’s innovative technology including Dynamics 365, the Power Platform, as well as Azure Cloud Services.

After identifying a critical market need, our SCRIM Safety First product – powered by Microsoft – delivers an easy to use health and safety solution, especially for high risk industries like logistics, manufacturing, construction and mining where safety is the highest priority.

With SCRIM, we help you to better identify, track, mitigate and manage risks throughout your business and ensure easy adoption and appropriate systems are in place to assure your employee’s health, safety and wellbeing.

Your incidents, hazards, risks, inspections, audits and more are all managed within SCRIM and importantly, are easily visible to managers and executives as a critical summary of the organisation’s safety performance via a suite of elegant, intuitive dashboards.

We’ve partnered with Australia’s biggest companies to improve their safety records with SCRIM Safety First.

www.clade.com.au             www.scrim.com.au

 

BORDER UPDATE. 17 July 2020

The VTA has worked closely with jurisdictions around the country to keep supply chains running efficiently, seamlessly and safely as Victoria experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, which has resulted in restrictions on the movement of people who live or have been in Victoria. Please note the border control update, as of Friday, July 17.

New South Wales

Freight drivers entering NSW from Victoria are required to have a current NSW border entry permit. They should obtain a border pass under the exemption category “Critical services – movement of freight or persons on a commercial basis.” This will ensure drivers are exempted from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days providing your employer has a COVID-Safe plan in place. NSW border pass applications are available here.

South Australia

Freight drivers entering South Australia from another state or territory must complete a cross border pre-approval form 72 hours more prior to arrival. Freight drivers who usually reside in Victoria must wear a face mask when interacting with the public in South Australia and maintain records of close contacts. They must also self-quarantine in South Australia when not undertaking work related duties. Drivers from jurisdictions other than Victoria entering South Australia are not required to comply with these requirements. Further information is available here.

Australian Capital Territory

Freight operators from Victoria must apply for an exemption at least 48 hours (wherever possible) before their intended travel date. See further details here

Northern Territory

Whilst the NT Border is now ‘open’ all travellers including truck drivers not travelling from an identified hotspot must continue to fill out Border Entry Forms online, print out or take a screen shot of the reference number and keep copy to provide for police at the NT Border. If you are returning from a designated hot spot (currently ALL of Victoria and Sydney Metropolitan area) with essential freight you are required to submit your COVID-19 management plan with a travel plan and driver details (for whom you are seeking an exemption.) Drivers will not be permitted entry without prior written approval of the Management Plan by the CHO.  Your company must be able to demonstrate:

  • Drivers will comply with all conditions attached to the COVID-19 Management Plan
  • Remain ‘quarantined (staying in the truck or depot as per travel plan) when not working
  • Drivers will maintain social distancing, health and hygiene requirements
  • Drivers will wear a face mask if not able to maintain 1.5metre distance from other persons when working
  • Take COVID-19 test if instructed to do so

The email address to send your applications for exemption including COVID-19 Management Plan & Travel Plan is:  doh.exempt@nt.gov.au

Queensland

Freight drivers entering Queensland are required to complete a Border Declaration prior to entry (valid for 7 days). Anyone that has been in a declared COVID hotspot in the previous 14 days is not permitted to enter. This includes the whole of Victoria. There is an exemption for those engaged in freight and logistics transport – but a truthful declaration must be made on your Border Declaration Pass. Further details here.

Western Australia

Freight drivers are required to apply for an exemption under the transport, freight and logistics category to enter Western Australia. This can be done through obtaining a G2G Pass. Anyone permitted to enter WA who has been in Victoria for the previous 14 days will be served with a notice on arrival requiring them to take a COVID-19 test on day 11 of their time in Western Australia (or if/whenever symptoms develop).

Tasmania

Tasmania is denying entry to anyone who has been in Victoria in the previous 14 days from attempting to enter. Freight and logistics workers can obtain an exemption. There is an exemption for freight and logistics workers as Essential Travellers here. Anyone granted Essential Traveller status who has spent time in Victoria in the 14 days prior to travel must wear a face mask and limit their movement when outside a workplace.

 

Please contact the VTA on 03 9646 8590  if you require further information.

Jobkeeper Payment and Income Support Extended

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia

21 July 2020

JOBKEEPER PAYMENT AND INCOME SUPPORT EXTENDED

 

The Morrison Government has announced it will deliver more support for households and businesses to help Australians through the COVID-19 pandemic and bolster our economic recovery.

The JobKeeper Payment will be extended by six months to 28 March 2021 and the temporary JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement for those on income support will be extended until 31 December 2020.

The extra assistance will continue to support Australians who are without work, offer businesses and their workers a lifeline, and assist Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

JobKeeper Payment

The JobKeeper Payment has been instrumental in supporting job retention, maintaining employment links and business cash flow, and providing income support to eligible employees. This extension provides further support to significantly impacted businesses so Australians can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income.

The JobKeeper Payment was due to finish on 27 September 2020, but will now remain available for eligible employers until 28 March 2021.

As the economy reopens the payment will be tapered in the December and March quarters to encourage businesses to adjust to the new environment, supporting a gradual transition to economic recovery, and ensure that those businesses who most need support continue to receive it.

A two-tiered payment will also be introduced from 28 September, to better align the payment with the incomes of employees before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 28 September until 3 January next year, the two payments will be $1,200 and $750, with the lower payment for employees who work less than 20 hours a week on average in the four weekly pay periods ending before 1 March 2020. From 4 January to 28 March, the two payments will be tiered at the rates of $1,000 and $650.

From 28 September 2020, employers will need to demonstrate that they have experienced an ongoing significant decline in turnover in both the June and September quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment in the December quarter.

To remain eligible for the payment in the March quarter 2021, employers will need to demonstrate that they have met the relevant decline in each of the previous three quarters ending 31 December 2020.

If a business does not meet the turnover test for the extended JobKeeper payment, it will not affect their eligibility prior to 28 September 2020.

The continuation of JobKeeper for these businesses will help support the economic recovery and provide them with sufficient time to adjust. The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new participants that meet the eligibility requirements. An independent evaluation will be conducted at the conclusion of the program.

Further details are available at the Treasury website, which can be found by clicking here.

JobSeeker and the Coronavirus Supplement

The temporary $550 Coronavirus Supplement, enhanced eligibility for payments, streamlined access to payments, waiver of waiting periods, some means testing arrangements, and a relaxed partner income test for JobSeeker Payment, will continue in their current form until the legislated end date of 24 September 2020.

From 25 September 2020 to 31 December 2020, the Coronavirus Supplement will be extended for those on income support and continue to provide elevated assistance while the economy is still in its early stages of recovery.

As the economy reopens, the Coronavirus Supplement will be adjusted to the rate of $250 per fortnight. The changes to the Coronavirus Supplement reflect the gradually improving economic and labour market conditions and is designed to ensure there are appropriate incentives for all payment recipients to seek out employment or study opportunities.

Both existing and new income support recipients will continue to be paid the Coronavirus Supplement. The Government will also ensure income support is appropriately targeted as the economy recovers by reintroducing a range of means testing arrangements.

In addition, we are also increasing the amount welfare recipients can earn before their JobSeeker and Youth Allowance (other) payments are affected to $300 a fortnight to encourage and support recipients to take up job opportunities as the economy and businesses reopen.

Further details on enhanced eligibility and means testing are available at the Treasury website, which can be found by clicking here.

Regards

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
Senator for Western Australia

 

SCLAA Newsletter – June 2020

SCLAA June 2020 Newsletter

Now Available

Click on the image below to view: