Motoring

Truck drivers begin protest action on Gold Coast

In a show of defiance against mandatory vaccines, truck drivers have caused a peak-hour nightmare on a major Queensland highway.

Truck drivers have blocked a major southeast Queensland highway on Monday morning, in protest against Covid-19 lockdowns and mandatory vaccinations.

Dozens of truckies began their convoy at a service station at 6am on Monday, before heading south to block the Reedy Creek exit on the M1 during peak hour, resulting in long delays.

Senator Pauline Hanson, who was in attendance, dismissed the group by 7.30am, after police threatened to bring in tow trucks to remove the rigs. Drivers vowed to resume their “Freedom of Choice” action elsewhere.

The demonstration comes one day ahead of a planned national protest, borne out of fury towards a vaccine mandate for drivers from 12 local government areas in Sydney, and for any essential workers travelling into Queensland.

As of August 30, authorised workers from Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith cannot leave their LGA unless they have received one dose of the vaccine.

Around the country, truck drivers must be tested every few days.

But, drivers say they have a right to choice and the freedom to work without the mandates.

“End all lockdowns. People can go back to work and kids can go back to school … We’ve had enough of it,” driver Brock said in a TikTok livestream from the protest.

“It’s all about choice at the end of the day. If you don’t want to get the vax, don’t. If you do want to get it, get it. But don’t keep locking up people.

“It had to happen now. People need to push back.”

Outspoken Sentator Pauline Hanson was at the protest in a show of solidarity.

Motorists were being urged to seek alternate routes.

The protest came after drivers last week urged Australians to stock up on food for “the next week or two” ahead of the planned protests.

Organisers of the protests vowed to shut the country down with supply disruptions.

The Transport Workers Union said the protests weren’t sanctioned by the organisation, but it could understand why truck drivers were “fed up”.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine last week told NCA NewsWire truck drivers “have been the backbone” of the Covid response.

“They are angry for a legitimate reason,” he said.

Read related topics:Brisbane

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