With the State Government’s requirement that a negative COVID test result must be obtained by interstate transport drivers every three days, there are calls for more testing facilities in East Gippsland.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, raised the matter in Parliament, stating “the new mandatory measures are not being matched by the required increase in testing facilities in my electorate”.
“Truckies have told me a testing facility is badly needed at Cann River as matter of priority to assist drivers travelling the Monaro and Princes Highways.
“What complicates matters is non-symptomatic people can’t obtain a COVID test, and some are even being told to book private testing appointments at their own cost.
“If you are going to make rules where non-symptomatic people must be tested, at least provide the facilities for this to occur,” Mr Bull said.
“Truckies do not want to spend their limited time between jobs looking to get a test or lining up for one, they want to spend it with their families.”
Mr Bull said he believed the roll out of rapid antigen testing, which can produce results in just 15 to 30 minutes, are 95% accurate and much cheaper, would assist greatly.
“It is working in other locations but for some reason the Government won’t look at this as an option for these situations, despite calls from epidemiologists.
“But regardless of whether they go down this path or not, they have to provide more testing resources if they are going to bring in these rules,” he said.
Caption: The proposed Cann River testing location that would capture freight drivers at the junction of Monaro and Princes Highways.
Monday, 23 August 2021