TRUCK stops around the region will be able to continue operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a special exemption from the federal government.
Recent restrictions had caused rest stops, roadhouses and drivers' lounges to be closed due to the pandemic, despite drivers continuing their usual work.
However, the National Cabinet along with The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, approved the exemption for roadhouses, dedicated truck stop facilities and truck driver lounges to remain open.
Wallabadah Roadhouse manager Navjot Suri welcomed the decision, saying rest stop and roadhouse services were essential for truck drivers to do their job.
"Things have been getting a little bit busier lately, but things are still going pretty well," Mr Suri told the Leader.
"We offer meals, coffee, showers and all kinds of facilities to the drivers passing through.
"They really need those things and we work hard to make sure everything is as clean as possible, so we can give them what we need.
"When we got the call last night [Monday] that we were allowed to stay open I was very pleased."
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the trucking industry was helping the country through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our truck drivers are transporting everything from supermarket supplies and fuel to vital medical equipment and medicine to where it is needed across Australia," Mr McCormack said.
"We have heard their concerns loud and clear and this is a commonsense solution which ensures heavy vehicle drivers have access to essential amenities, can take regular breaks and eat properly whilst delivering their vital cargo.
"Roadside service stations, roadhouses and truck driver lounges provide a vital function allowing truck drivers to eat, shower, use restrooms, refuel and rest comfortably before resuming their work - which is critical for them to continue efficient and safe freight distribution across the country."
The decision comes after strong lobbying from the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).
ATA chairman Geoff Crouch said the association's cause had received plenty of support on social media, reaching more than 265,000 people.
"I also want to thank the ATA's member associations for their absolute unity and common effort.
"Australia's truck drivers are working hard to deliver the food, medicine and essential goods we need to get through this epidemic, but too many truck stops have closed their facilities, including toilets and showers.
"Truck drivers are essential and deserve better.
"They need to be able to take a break on the road; they can't just wander out of their home office and grab something from the fridge."