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Severe damage to ‘critical infrastructure’ has affected heavy vehicle operators

Severe damage to ‘critical infrastructure’ has affected heavy vehicle operators

Record flooding in fitzroy’s Crossing in West Australia’s Kimberley region has severed critical Freight routes exposing vulnerabilities of Supply chains to the area joining us live now is Stephen Miller acting Chief regulatory policy and standards officer with the national heavy vehicle regulator so thank you for your time can you explain to us just how.

Disruptive and challenging it’s been over the past few weeks obviously there’s been a lot of damage to critical infrastructure very very challenging for our long haul heavy Freight operators and we’ve been doing what we can by putting temporary emergency routes in place to assist them that temporary access has been provided.

To class three vehicles what difference will that make in terms of getting critical supplies to communities that have been cut off yeah that the temporary notice allows us to operate larger than normal road trains out of Western Australia and through South Australia up into the Northern Territory and Northern Western.

Australia where these critical goods are needed for these impacted communities what type of suppliers are being delivered how many are able to get through at this time what we’re hearing from industry is it’s this route’s been very well used for all the essential goods and that have been transported up and normally go up.

Through the Fitzroy Crossing area and that’s the supply local communities uh supermarkets and those sort of facilities how long does this exemption need to stay in place for at the moment we’ve got the exemption until the 28th of February however we’re getting continual updates from our state.

And federal counterparts and we’re monitoring the situation on going and we’ll assess that notice closer to the end date to see if we need to extend it okay it must be pretty rewarding that uh truck drivers are able to make such a difference at this time and actually help deliver critical supplies yeah definitely.

Um time and time again we see the heavy vehicle industry in Australia stepping up and and doing everything they can to help ensure the supply of these critical Goods into these communities and we’re happy to help out as a regulator in any way we can yeah you’re hearing stories on the ground how people are holding up we’re getting news through mainly on the.

Road infrastructure and where our help can be provided um obviously we’re hearing news of communities coming in as well and definitely from operators and communities we’re hearing a lot of positive news of the help we’re providing what about the drivers they’re obviously safe and happy to help.

Yeah definitely obviously uh heavy vehicle operators have had to adjust to this new route they’ve had to reschedule drivers and reschedule their heavy vehicles to operate on this route effectively but we’re getting a lot of good feedback from industry from the support this temporary notice is providing.

Do you think it will be need to be extended uh at this stage um we’ll wait till closer to the date and that assessments obviously the infrastructure is the responsibility of the state authorities and we’ve got a way for them to get in and assess that infrastructure but if needed we’re more.

Than happy to work with our state and federal counterparts to to increase the time frame of this notice and are you satisfied with their response were they quick enough in getting this exemption in yeah definitely from from our state and federal counterparts and Industry the response has been amazing for us we were.

Able to get this notice in really quickly uh once we were advised of the damage to those essential Freight routes okay Stephen Miller thank you so much for your time thank you