Industry welcomes hay-carting rule change


Nation-wide trucking exemption to last as long as the drought does

Industry welcomes hay-carting rule change
Heavy vehicles up to 4.6 metres high and 2.83 metres wide will not require a permit now.

 

Industry bodies have rallied around a government rule change aimed at assisting trucking operators in drought-affected areas.

As of tomorrow, trucks carrying hay and fodder will be able to do so in larger volumes and without a permit, following an announcement by Minister for Transport Michael McCormack.

As per the National Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice 2018, heavy vehicles up to 4.6 metres high and 2.83 metres wide will not require a permit – up from 2.6 metres wide and 4.3 metres high.

The rules will be uniform across the country, with the same dimensions allowed on national and state-controlled roads.

The government estimates the move will save about 6,000 permits and 54,000 days a year spent applying and waiting.

In a joint statement, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), NatRoad, NSW Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers’ Association (LBRCA) and Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters’ Association (ALRTA) voiced their support for the move, which removes existing regulatory barriers and inconsistencies around the movement of agricultural commodities in Australia.

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"It’s a great outcome that will make it easier for our members to deliver hay and fodder to Australia’s hard-pressed farmers," ATA CEO Ben Maguire says.

"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."

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says the announcement marks an additional step towards more consistent nation-wide regulations.

"In the lead-up to today’s announcement, NatRoad has strongly advocated for a harmonised heavy vehicle law across all states. We would like to thank the Government for listening," he says.

"The exemption will help road transport businesses ensure that help reaches those affected by the drought when most needed."

ALRTA national president Kevin Keenan hopes local councils will adopt the same approach.

"Today’s announcement will immediately reduce the cost of moving hay to where it is needed most while also reducing the risk of fines for carriers," Keenan says.

"The next step is for local governments to get on board as well, because the new notice only applies to state-controlled roads."

The NHVR has told ATN there is no defined end date to the excemption while drought conditions persist. 

 

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