Farm Gate Access

The Farm Gate Access Project has been designed to make it easier to apply for and approve safe and legal access for higher productivity vehicles travelling on low volume council roads. This benefits local farmers, businesses, participating councils and the community.

Updates and announcements

To support farmers, Transport for NSW will waive the first 50 Farm Gate Access permit application fees submitted through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Road Access Portal from 6 January 2020. This incentive is applicable for submissions received on eligible roads located within the participating council areas. Farm Gate Access Permit Application Fee Waiver Information Sheet (PDF, 80.96Kb).

On 1 June 2019, we launched the Farm Gate Access Project as an opportunity to test the use, acceptance and benefits of the decision making framework to approve access for higher productivity vehicles.

The project will be evaluated in conjunction with industry and participating councils. If successful, it will be promoted as an effective way to support access-related decision making on low volume council roads and rolled out more broadly across NSW.

The Farm Gate Access digital checklist is now live.

Farm Gate Access Project

The Farm Gate Access Project has been developed to help councils make timely decisions about access for heavy vehicles on lower risk roads.

The project introduces a road access assessment framework, including a third party risk assessment tool. It aims to provide greater information on the road and roadside as part of the access application to assist local councils in their responsibility as road manager when considering access requests on low volume roads to farms that operate small-scale primary production activities.

The model aims to benefit local farmers, businesses, participating councils and the broader community by fostering safe and legal access for heavy vehicles. 

The project is specific to:

  • local roads that provide access to farms or properties and have limited connectivity to the broader road network
  • low volume roads which carry no more than 200 vehicles per day, where 25 or less of these vehicle movements consist of heavy vehicles operating within general access provisions
  • an occasional task allowing up to 26 return trips per year per property. This means that access to and from the property by one vehicle equates to one trip
  • properties used for the purpose of small-scale primary production activities
  • Restricted Access Vehicles up to and including 26 metre B-doubles, vehicle combinations that are up to 4.6 metres in height, vehicles operating at Higher Mass Limits, or being used under Productivity Schemes such as the Grain Harvest Management Scheme or the Livestock Loading Scheme in accordance with the definitions outlined in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Road trains are not included in this project.

After 12 months the outcomes will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the framework from the perspective of the agriculture and transport industries, councils and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Councils participating in the project will have the opportunity to lead the refinement of the risk assessment framework and its tools and guidelines, to ensure they are fit for purpose before the project is rolled out broadly.

Improving freight productivity, improving safety and working with local communities

The risk assessment model

The model contains a series of questions designed to assess the magnitude of risk on low volume council roads that offer occasional access to certain vehicle types under this project. The assessment will be used to identify risks, identify suitable access conditions to mitigate or reduce the risks, and support the road manager to assess an application for access.

The model encourages the proponent and assessor to consider opportunities to reduce the possible risk by applying conditions to their access. These conditions will ensure safe and legal access that minimises damage to infrastructure.

Once the checklist is complete, a copy of it is sent to the assessor as a pdf before it is attached to a permit application and submitted through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) access portal. The result of the risk assessment is provided to the local council as road manager as supporting documentation to the access request. More information on the application process can be found on the NHVR website help page. Online tutorials are available on NHVR’s YouTube page.

It is noted that local councils have a responsibility under the Heavy Vehicle National Law to approve or decline access requests as road manager. This project does not seek to alter this responsibility; but aims to provide a mechanism to support local councils to identify, assess and manage transport risk when making decisions as a road manager.

The Farm Gate Access digital checklist is now live and ready for use.


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