Four years of farmer friendly road & freight reforms

18 February 2015

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay today highlighted some of the key ‘farmer friendly’ reforms delivered by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government since March 2011.

“Since coming to office in early 2011, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has been systematically ripping up 16 years of Labor-generated red tape that has been strangling farm freight productivity in rural and regional NSW,” Mr Gay said.

Minister Gay said Labor treated farmers and regional transport operators like second-class citizens for 16 years – repeatedly failing to fix even the most basic problems.

“The NSW Government recognises even more needs to be done; and it will be done – but our record to date speaks for itself. Let’s also not forget how hard it is to unravel every piece of tangled Labor red tape in less than four years,” Mr Gay said.

Key ‘farmer friendly’ road and freight reforms delivered since March 2011

Farmer friendly reform

NSW Labor

NSW Liberals & Nationals

Exemption to allow John Deere 7760 round bale cotton pickers to be ‘walked’ for up to 80 kilometres between farms.7760 round bale cotton pickers had been forced to travel on low loaders (i.e. floated; not walked).Delivered May 2011.
Width concession from 2.5 to 2.7 metres to transport wool, hay, straw & cotton bales.No concession ever provided in 16 years (5,837 days) of government.Wool – delivered within 100 days of coming into government (1 July 2011).
Hay, straw & cotton – delivered July 2012.
Restored 110km/h speed limit on the Newell Highway so cars aren’t ‘mixed-in’ with farm freight trucks.In December 2009, dropped original speed limit to 100km/h.Restored 110km/h speed limit July 2011.
Removal of need to obtain permits for several farm related over-size and over-mass loads (e.g. a tractor less than 49.5 tonnes can be carried on a truck trailer without the need for a special permit).Nil interest or effort.Delivered August 2012.
Allowed 4.6 metre high four-tiered livestock crates to travel on the Great Western Highway over the Blue Mountains (improves both freight efficiency & animal welfare).4.3 metre high trucks were allowed, but Labor failed to deliver over 16 years an extra 30 centimetres in height.Delivered September 2011.
Allowed quad and quin dog trucks to operate at Higher Mass Limits (HML) on approved 25/26 metres B-double freight routes.Nil interest or effort.Delivered November 2011.
Allowed modern road train trucks to access Gunnedah Regional Saleyards via the Kamilaroi Highway east of the Newell Highway.Nil interest or effort.Delivered in partnership with Gunnedah Shire Council April 2012.
Extended dimension permits for grain augers from 1 to 12 months.Nil interest or effort.Delivered June 2012.
Allowed tri-axle dollies to operate on the road train network at tri-axle mass limits (as opposed to only the mass limit of a tandem axle group).Nil interest or effort.Delivered June 2012.
Allowed modern road train trucks to access select freight routes in the Gwydir local government area east of the Newell Highway.Nil interest or effort.Delivered in partnership with Gwydir Shire Council October 2012.
Grain Harvest Management Scheme* – providing growers and transport operators with up to 5 per cent ‘weight tolerance’ when transporting grain to silos.Despite desperate pleas from industry, a weight tolerance was never granted in 16 years (5,837 days) of government.Pilot scheme delivered during 2012-13 harvest; full scheme delivered during 2013-14 harvest. 56 regional councils & 175 grain receiver sites enrolled in the 2014-15 scheme.
Livestock Loading Scheme* – allowing producers and livestock carriers to operate their trucks at HML on select freight routes.Ignored desperate pleas from industry for 16 years.Delivered December 2012.
19 regional councils now enrolled in the scheme.
*The NSW Govt. continues to inform and educate regional councils about the benefits of these agricultural loading schemes (i.e. councils remain the consent authority for access on their local and regional roads; not the state). NSW Govt. has provided access on all state managed roads (except where load restricted bridges are signposted).
Allowed graders to travel on roads in Western Zone up to a distance of 75kms and up to 25kms in the Eastern Zone from their registration address.Nil interest or effort.Delivered April 2013.
Additional 1,700 kilometres of state & council owned roads made accessible to trucks operating at Higher Mass Limits. Today, 96 per cent of the state owned road network is approved for HML.Very little effort made to open up extra kilometres on both state and council managed road networks for trucks operating at Higher Mass Limits.Ongoing reforms since March 2011.

MEDIA: Emma Higginson 0467 743 192 (Minister Gay)

View the original media release

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