The Federal Government has now brought in changes to carting hay that are consistent with the changes NSW brought in in August.
Heavy vehicles can now carry loads up to a maximum height of 4.6 metres and 2.83 metres wide without requiring a permit to access across the country.
The Notice will remove the need for up to 6,000 permits a year. It is estimated farmers and truck operators will save the equivalent of up to 54,000 days per year applying and waiting for permits.
This NSW Government brought in the NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice in August allowing more hay to be transported per truckload, reducing costs for farmers.
Minister Pavey said consistency across states is particularly crucial as hay is being transported from Western Australian and Tasmania to drought affected areas, including here in NSW.
“It’s great to see the Federal Government is following our lead in providing practical ways to assist our farmers with challenges of drought” Melinda Pavey said.
“This is especially important given that hay is now coming from even further abroad.”
The CEO of the Australian Trucking Association, Ben Maguire, said the existing rules for hay and fodder transport were all over the place.
“In NSW, the maximum allowed width for transporting baled or rolled hay to drought affected areas is 2.83 metres. In South Australia, it is 2.7 metres. In Queensland, it is 2.5 metres. Similarly, the maximum height allowed varies between 4.3 and 4.6 metres."
“The new rules will standardise the maximum dimensions for eligible vehicles at 2.83 metres wide and 4.6 metres high."
“The rules will remove the need for up to 6,000 consents per year and will save trucking operators and farmers the equivalent of 54,000 days per year applying and waiting for permits,"
“It’s a great outcome that will make it easier for our members to deliver hay and fodder to Australia’s hard-pressed farmers."
“It was only possible, though, because the ATA and our member associations, and farm associations, worked closely together to pitch the case to governments for consistent rules.”
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse