Is this the most expensive truck wash in Australia?

truck wash

Victoria’s peak farming body has raised concerns over potential disease outbreak and “environmental damage” after the Geelong council hiked up prices at the city’s popular saleyards truck wash.

Since September 1, users have been slugged $3.41 a minute, up from the previous cost of $1 a minute, and the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) said it’s fearful of the repercussions.

VFF Livestock Group president Scott Young said the price hike will significantly impact producers’ and transporter’s ability to protect the state against exotic animal diseases (EAD).

“Truck washes serve an important role ensuring animal welfare and protecting the environment from improper disposal of effluent,” he said.

“The VFF is concerned that any pricing structure that is prohibitive will lead to a decline in animal welfare and risk environmental damage.”

The VFF wrote to the council expressing its dismay at the price increase, but the city believes the increase is justified after its analysis showed an annual running cost of $250,000.

“A report advised that 92 per cent of trucks using the facility are from outside the municipality,” said Geelong council chief executive Ali Wastie.

“Each use had a cost of $148.54, resulting in an average monthly cost ot the Greater Geelong ratepayers of $13,926.”

The VFF, however, stresses that the $3.41 per minute is still significantly more than comparable truck washes across the state. Ballarat Saleyards truck wash in comparison charges just 95 cents per minute.

None of the other 131 truck washes in Advata Australia’s National Truckwash System charge more than $1.60 a minute.

On the new pricing structure in Geelong, the VFF said the cost of cleaning and disposing of effluent at the truck wash will increase from $120 for a B-double to $409.

Further, a semi-trailer with two decks will increase from $30 to $102, while a semi-trailer with four decks will increase from $80 to $273.

“This significant increase in charges is restrictive and will discourage truck drivers from the using the truck wash,” the VFF added in a statement.

“We’re calling on the Greater Geelong City Council to adjust its pricing to reflect a model that will encourage transporters to use the Old Geelong Saleyards Truck Wash, which in turn will contribute to our efforts to guard against an EAD outbreak, increase animal welfare outcomes and protect our local environment.”

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