Farm Gate Access

The Farm Gate Access Project has been specifically 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 provides a benefit to local farmers, businesses, participating councils and the community more broadly.

Farm Gate Access Project

The Project introduces a third party risk-assessment model to assist local councils in their responsibility as road manager when considering heavy vehicle access requests on low volume roads to farms that operate small-scale primary production activities.

The model will allow a streamlined approval process and foster safe and legal access for local farmers, businesses, participating councils and the broader community.

The Project is specific to:

  • Local roads that provide access to farms or properties that have limited connectivity to the broader road network.
  • Low volume roads which have limited connectivity and 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 trips of 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 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, vehicle or vehicle combinations that are operated 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.

The risk-assessment model

The risk-assessment model contains a series of questions designed to assess the magnitude of risk on a low volume road being considered for occasional access of certain vehicle types under this project. The assessment will be used to justify to the road manager why access should be granted.

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 and road wear.

The result of the risk-assessment will inform the decisions or approvals by local council as road manager. While a desirable outcome of the project is to reduce administrative burdens, 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.

About the pilot

Roads and Maritime is establishing a pilot to test the use, acceptance and benefits of the decision-making framework and refining the risk assessment tool and business processes before full implementation. If the pilot is successful, the Farm Gate Access Project will be rolled out across NSW to support efficient and robust access decision making on the low volume, lower risk parts of the road network.

The pilot will run for up to 12 months with a six and nine month review. 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.

The Farm Gate Access Pilot Project will be a way of measuring the success of this project and is an opportunity to make any necessary improvements. Councils who participate in the Pilot will have the opportunity to lead the refinement of the risk assessment framework, including the tools and guidelines, to ensure they are fit for purpose, before a broader rollout of the framework across NSW.

More information on Farm Gate Access

Contact us

Roads and Maritime welcomes your feedback and interest in this initiative.

If you are a NSW local council or industry representative and would like to know more about the Farm Gate Access Project, please contact the Freight Branch by email at roadfreight@rms.nsw.gov.au.

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