Heavy vehicle operators Australia-wide are being told to prepare for lengthy border delays following Victoria’s instigation of a seven-day lockdown.

National Road Transport Association CEO Warren Clark said it was Groundhog Day for his members who needed to cross state borders regularly.

“They’re well versed in the contradictory rules that add to the red tape burden of owning or operating a heavy vehicle,” Mr Clark said.

“We’re renewing our calls for all levels of government to deliver a standardised system of border permits for the road freight industry.”

“Every major border needs a dedicated freight lane to prevent truck drivers being caught in delays that can last hours.”

Mr Clark said lengthy border delays had a serious impact on their ability of drivers to adhere to fatigue management requirements.

“It’s clearly a safety issue and if we’re going to acknowledge road freight as an essential service’, then let’s not just pay lip service,” Mr Clark said.

“Road freight has kept the country moving during the pandemic and will continue to transport essential supplies of all kinds for all Australians.

“To keep doing this essential work, we need consistency from every State and territory regarding border closures, permit conditions, testing regimes and consistent timing for asymptomatic testing as they affect the road freight industry and its workers.