NSW saleyards review reaches conclusion


Councils informed of their responsibilities under Chain of Responsibility rules

NSW saleyards review reaches conclusion
Councils were angered by increased livestock transport burdens

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has finalised its review into heavy vehicle safety around New South Wales saleyards, following issues regarding mass limits in areas such as Dubbo and Forbes.

The review involved inspection of improvement notices issued to Forbes Shire Council and Dubbo Regional Council in the wake of mass breaches late last year.

NHVR executive director statutory compliance Ray Hassall says that the regulator has provided the councils with guidance about their responsibilities as loading managers under Chain of Responsibility (COR) legislation.

"Saleyards are an incredibly important part of our regional economies and we want to work with councils to ensure they remain productive," Hassall says.

"However, we must also ensure we are keeping all road users and transport workers safe."


Read how the saleyards issue came to the fore, here


The review concluded that, in the circumstances, the requirement to install and operate a fixed weighing system goes beyond the scope of what is reasonably required under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The decision also instructs the councils to conduct routine compliance observations in order to ensure that top-deck loading is done safely, including requiring stock agents to pay attention to the issue.

The matter came to its head following a number of mass breaches last year that led Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to suggest weighbridges be installed at saleyards and calling for saleyards and councils to be responsible for matters such as fatigue management and banning repeat offenders for overloading.

However, the councils were angered by being burdened with the additional responsibility as vehicle weight compliance is normally handled by the state.

It led Forbes Shire Council general manager Steve Loane to call on the regulator to resolve the issue and work towards a harmonised regulation.

 

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