Truckies unable to dine-in at NSW roadhouses

'It's really not comfortable': No dining-in allowed for truck drivers in NSW

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KEEP TRUCKING: Crossing Point Diner owner Smita Behera and manager Jamie Brennan say it's unfair that truck drivers are not able eat indoors. Picture: Mark Jesser

KEEP TRUCKING: Crossing Point Diner owner Smita Behera and manager Jamie Brennan say it's unfair that truck drivers are not able eat indoors. Picture: Mark Jesser

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Despite having an exemption last year, truck drivers in NSW are not allowed to eat inside at truck stops and diners.

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A Lavington roadhouse boss says a NSW government ban on truck drivers sitting down for meals is unfair.

Smita Behera, who owns Crossing Point Diner and Takeaway at the Shell fuel station near the Wagga Road-Thurgoona Drive intersection, thinks it's wrong to make drivers eat in their cabins, noting it did not apply in last year's lockdown.

"This is basically their second home," she said.

"After a long drive they want to have a shower, hot food and they just want to relax and talk to people.

"It's really not comfortable or acceptable to have them go back to their trucks to eat.

"It amazes us that we still can't do it, last year we had an exemption and truckies could still come in to eat.

"It's a little bit confusing because we're hearing that other truck stops are still doing it.

"We've been told there is no exemption but there are still places where people are eating in."

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Ms Behera said she understands why some businesses are allowing drivers to eat in, especially given how difficult it can be to get clarification on the rules from the relevant bodies.

"The government needs to make these things clearer, because when you're working you can't be on the phone for two or three hours trying to figure it out," she said.

"Last year they had this exemption and then suddenly everything has changed and I think people are mostly just confused."

Truck stop manager Jamie Brennan said the eatery was being put in an awkward position after hearing from drivers that other locations were allowing eat-in meals.

"It might be OK for big corporations but we're trying to do the right thing and it feels like we're being punished for it," he said.

"We're stuck between a rock and a hard place."

Mr Brennan said the government's stance was odd considering how much emphasis it placed on the Stop, Revive, Survive road campaign.

"That has always been a big thing from the government and yet now they're telling people to stay trapped in their trucks," he said.

"It's okay for us, we can go home and have a meal and a sleep, but it's way too unfair to make them jump in their truck with a plastic knife and fork trying to eat dinner."

A spokesperson for the department of transport said the government is working with states and territories to ensure the freight industry maintains access to supporting infrastructure.

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The story Truckies unable to dine-in at NSW roadhouses first appeared on The Border Mail.

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