Truck drivers entering South Australia from Victoria have been facing abuse when coming into the state, Business SA reveals.
Business SA says South Australian business owners have reported instances where truck drivers have been spat on, refused access to toilets at service stations and sprayed with Glen 20, while others have had their Victorian-plated vehicles keyed or smeared with dog faeces.
Business SA Chief Executive Martin Haese has condemned the behaviour, describing it as “despicable and disgusting”.
“A strong message needs to be sent to the community that this type of abuse will not be tolerated and if caught in the act, there will be punishment,” Mr Haese said.
Victorian workers in commercial transport and freight services, emergency services, defence and agricultural and primary industries are currently classified as essential and are granted special permits to enter South Australia.
“Many South Australian businesses are relying on these essential workers to deliver vital stock, products, and services. Pet food, gardening supplies, medical products and grocery items, to name only a few,” Mr Haese said.
“These are the people that are helping to keep the wheels of our economy turning and our businesses open, yet they are being unfairly targeted.
“The second wave in Victoria has caused difficult decisions to be made to protect the overall health interests of that state. Business SA understands this but is hopeful these measures are temporary and business in our regional border towns can get back to normal as soon as possible.
“These are challenging times and the way we treat our interstate neighbours during this period could have long-term ramifications.
“The abuse must stop. South Australia cannot afford the consequences.”