Transport needs ignored in Euroa redevelopment, LRTAV says

By: Anjali Behl


Howell says recent saleyard improvements failed to address livestock transporters' ongoing concerns

Transport needs ignored in Euroa redevelopment, LRTAV says
The refurbished Euroa saleyard facility officially opened last month.

 

The recent upgrades at the Euroa saleyard facility failed to consider the basic requirements of transport operators and drivers, the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) states.

The association says that while the Victorian government is patting its back for delivering an "upgraded and modernised facility", the authorities failed to consult with the livestock transport industry before or during the two-stage Euroa Saleyards Redevelopment Project.

State regional development minister Jaala Pulford and member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, who officially opened the refurbished facility late last month, have spoken of the benefits of the projects to livestock producers.

Although LRTAV is appreciative of some of the improvements made as part of the redevelopment project, it notes that upgrade failed to make appropriate safety changes to benefit livestock drivers and operators.

The association has urged authorities to consider operational health and safety (OHS) issues linked with livestock transport for many years but the issues remain unaddressed despite two rounds of funding and redevelopment work at the site, LRTAV president Graham Howell tells ATN.

"Great to see significant money invested in Euroa saleyards to improve facilities," Howell says.

"Animal welfare and selling facilities are important, but so is the health and safety of transporters who get the stock into and out of a facility.

"We are an essential part of the supply chain and all drivers and operators deserve to be safe too in their workplace."

Currently there is only one truck wash bay that is too small to accommodate a B-double truck, and its open plan is a threat to safety of operators and biosecurity due to improper effluent control.

"The bay is too small. It is a battle to get a semitrailer in, leave aside a B-double," Howell says.

"We have been asking authorities to design a better facility using new ideas and latest practice instead of relying on designs from 30 years back."

The LRTAV has once again raised its concerns with Pulford and the Strathbogie Shire Council, and is urging authorities to ensure the following recommendations are addressed during any future works at Euroa:

  • improved truck wash bays with adequate space to accommodate bigger trucks
  • the bays to be covered with roofs and separated to ensure safety of operators and biosecurity
  • a new truck wash to be built near wastewater treatment facility
  • installing lights in truck wash areas, which are currently less than inadequate in a high risk area
  • shower facilities for drivers
  • improved pen gates for the safety of drivers and stock handlers, and safe and efficient movement of animals.

Howell says livestock operators and drivers deserve to have their basic needs met.

Truck washes are an essential requirement of livestock transport as it affects biosecurity and animal welfare, and equally important is the need for basic shower and personal hygiene facilities for drivers and saleyard staff to help minimise the risk of disease, LRTAV notes.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook