The heavy vehicle industry is working hard to ensure that the nation’s supply chains continue with as few interruptions as possible.
Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) Chief Executive Todd Hacking says that the responsibility couldn’t be in better hands.
“Our members are adapting to the pressures and evolving circumstances in very practical ways,” Mr Hacking said.
“They are shutting down non-essential parts of their businesses, they are implementing recommended hygiene initiatives, and they are looking at every opportunity to consider the well-being of their employees who, like the rest of the community, are under great stress from this rapidly evolving crisis.
“But on the front line they are continuing to deliver the support and service that will keep Australia’s road freight transport network moving,” he said.
State and Federal Governments have been working closely with industry to keep our vital supply chain functioning. The road freight industry is termed as an essential industry and is therefore able to continue work, despite state shutdowns, including continuing to work cross borders.
“That means that our industry also has an essential role to play,” Mr Hacking said.
Australia’s Heavy Vehicle Industry comprises hundreds of innovative trailer, specialised vehicle, component, equipment and technology manufacturers and suppliers in addition to the product assembly of global heavy vehicle brands such as Volvo, Mack, Kenworth, DAF and Iveco.
The industry directly employs over 36,000 people and manufactures, services and repairs some of the world’s most efficient, safe, innovative and technologically advanced vehicles.
These businesses are low risk from community transmission of the virus as they are able to control people movements to site, are able to comply with social distancing rules, have high levels of hygiene and are continuing to keep their staff safe.
“Sectors of our industry are managing unprecedented demand,” Mr Hacking added.
“Especially fuel, fresh produce, refrigerated and general freight transporters who are working overtime to keep our supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals stocked.
“The supply chain is extensive. It’s very important we keep freight moving and this goes beyond the truck – it includes regular maintenance, service and repair;
“It includes manufacturing, component and technology supply and technical support.
Mr Hacking said the Federal Government’s first round of economic stimulus included incentives for capital asset depreciation which couldn’t have come at a better time for industry.
“These stimulus incentives have made it possible for operators to make the investment necessary to cater for that demand,” he said.
“But these vehicles work hard, so it is imperative that our members are enabled to support them through supply, maintenance, parts and repair.
“We recognise that there is some confusion over what are deemed essential services in some jurisdictions;
“Perhaps it isn’t obvious without explanation but our advice at this stage, is that HVIA’s members, are able to operate as normal, as long as they can comply with the social distancing rules outlined by the Prime Minister, keeping indoor activities under 100 and ensuring 4m² and a safe distance of at least 1.5m.
“We are immensely proud of our industry’s determination to contribute to helping Australia through this crisis.”
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