Truck drivers are warning that consumers will face empty supermarket shelves if their industry is not protected from disruption caused by extreme weather events.
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) said continued floods would push many drivers, already struggling to afford diesel costs, out of the job.
A shortage of truck drivers, which was already an issue due to the ageing driver cohort, would mean food shortages that would push up already inflated prices at the grocery store.
ALRTA executive director Matthew Munro said drivers needed a government-backed self-insurance scheme to protect the future of the industry.
He is campaigning for drivers to be able to put money into a scheme as a tax deduction, the proceeds of which would be accessed in the event of downturns caused by flooding or border closures.
Munro warned there would be an exodus of drivers that would “affect everything we buy” if such a scheme was not put in place quickly.
"We've seen supermarket shelves stripped bare of some products, KFC outlets running out of chicken, and record lettuce prices ... things that would have been unthinkable three years ago,” he said.
"Then mum and dad consumers feel that pinch pretty quickly."