21/04/2020 - 15:40

Travel app gets mixed response

21/04/2020 - 15:40

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The resources sector has enthusiastically embraced a new government-backed app designed to facilitate travel across Western Australia but the freight sector has been lukewarm in its response, despite being touted as a major beneficiary.

Travel app gets mixed response
Cam Dumesny says the concept is good but it still needs some work. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The resources sector has enthusiastically embraced a new government-backed app designed to facilitate travel across Western Australia but the freight sector has been lukewarm in its response, despite being touted as a major beneficiary.

Premier Mark McGowan announced the launch of the G2G PASS app yesterday, saying it would make it easier for trucking companies and others that need to travel across the state.

“The app was designed as an efficient tool for freight, transport and other key industries to travel through the borders, reducing time and interaction at checkpoints,” Mr McGowan said yesterday.

The app is an alternative to the paper-based approvals system that was put in place after the government put strict limits on travel into WA and across regions.

It was developed by West Leederville firm GenVis and consulting firm Nous Group in partnership with WA Police Force and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development   

“It’s a credit to everyone involved to get this app in place and operating in just two weeks,” Mr McGowan said.

He added that, after a soft launch, there had already been 8,000 applications from industry and 1,000 from members of the general public who need to travel regularly across boundaries.

Most of the ‘industry’ applications were believed to be employees of resources companies, after the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA sent a template to its members ahead of the system going live.

The main users will be oil and gas producers, such as Woodside Petroleum and Chevron, and the big iron ore producers in the Pilbara, as they have thousands of fly-in, fly-out workers travelling from Perth.

The Freight and Logistics Council of Western Australia similarly sent a bulk upload template to some of its members but with a variable response.

Western Roads Federation chief executive Cam Dumesny said a few trucking companies have been trialling the app since late last week.

“The concept is good but it still needs some work,” he said.

“There are some concerns that we have we the app that we are still seeking clarification on.”

Mr Dumesny said a lot of truck drivers do not have an email address and do not like using their phone for work purposes.

He added the trucking industry was continuing to grapple with new regulations and slow decision making.

His members had found it difficult getting timely approvals to travel through the Kimberley and sometimes received conflicting advice from government agencies.

A spokesman for the premier’s office said the freight industry had been consulted throughout the process and feedback had been extremely positive.

The app is designed to act as an additional tool to help streamline the approvals process for those who are exempt from the government’s travel restrictions.

Applicants who use the app have a QR code issued to their phone, as an alternative to paper-based approvals.

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