Tuesday, 14 August 2018
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall says new drought assistance measures designed to make it easier for farmers to transport more hay during the drought will be welcomed by everyone across the region and further reduce the burden on those doing it tough.
Mr Marshall said freight changes to come into effect this week to support farmers would give new improved access for heavy vehicles carrying supplies and stock to drought-affected areas.
The new exemptions on the amount of hay or feed being trucked means more can be transported per truck, reducing the cost for farmers.
“Freight is a huge cost so the more hay we can on one load, the cheaper it is for all our farmers and that’s a critical issue,” Mr Marshall said.
“This current drought is unprecedented in living memory and it is not isolated, it hasn’t discriminated and the entire state is declared to be in drought.”
“I am pleased the NSW Government has acted again with this announcement on feed transport weights, because it is another measure that will help.”
The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice, which will come into effect by 15 August, will allow more hay to be transported per truckload, reducing costs for farmers.
“Freight is a major cost for farmers so I welcome this adjustment from the Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight,” Mr Marshall said.
“Anyone around this electorate, and indeed across the region and inland NSW, will have failed to notice the amount of feed carrying trucks on our roads, trying to satisfy the huge demands for baled hay because of the ongoing drought conditions.
“The new notice means farmers who’ve been having trouble moving hay should now find it much easier to get it to the places it is needed most.
“I’d encourage all freight transport operators and farmers trucking hay to look at the new dedicated, one-stop-shop, webpage on Roads and Maritime Services website, and see just how they can take advantage of the new exemptions and rules, so they can look at the access options they have available now.”
The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice will:
• Allow eligible vehicles transporting hay to travel under notice and without a permit, including B-doubles up to 26 metres long
o Up to 2.83 metres wide on all approved roads
o Up to 4.6 metres high, on the approved 4.6 metre high network
• On a case-by-case basis, allow access permits for road trains on roads not currently approved for road trains
• On a case-by-case basis, provide access permits for trucks transporting loads of hay in excess of 4.6 metres high
• Refund or waive National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Roads and Maritime permit fees for drought relief applications
• A dedicated hotline (1800 952 292) and website (www.rms.nsw.gov.au/drought-freight) for any questions or queries transport operators or farmers may have