Farmers and transport operators will benefit from a new heavy vehicle access initiative which will bolster end-to-end transport access from the farm gate to market in six pilot areas across NSW.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Farm Gate Access Network pilot will improve access to the local road network across NSW for larger, modern trucks and cut red-tape for farmers and transport operators by reducing the need for access permits.
“This pilot trial will provide conditional area-wide access for Higher Productivity Vehicles transporting grain or livestock on council roads in six Local Government Areas including Tamworth and Gunnedah,” Toole said.
“This is a huge step forward for farmers and freight operators, ensuring they can make use of safer, modern trucks to move stock and grain to market more efficiently and without the red tape.”
Toole said eligible heavy vehicles were fitted with modern telematics technology, increasing the visibility of freight moving around the network.
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said this information would be aggregated and shared with councils to help support decision making and planning about road maintenance and future upgrades.
“This initiative is a win-win for local communities – increased farm productivity and a better understanding of how the road network is used,” said Anderson.
“It will bolster end-to-end heavy vehicle access, ensure vehicles can operate compliantly and help drive an increase in productivity for NSW transport operators.”
Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association President Paul Pulver said the project will enable safer, more productive, and legal access when transporting primary products to and from rural properties using High Productivity Vehicles.
“Improving access to local road networks across NSW is a significant productivity gain for our industry,” he said.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said after years of drought this year’s bumper harvest has shown just how important it is to have improved and clear access to local road networks. Barriers to efficient transport add time and cost for grain growers and farmers.
“As heavy vehicles have become safer and technology is within reach of most carriers, it is important that regulation keeps pace. The information that these six pilots will generate will be invaluable to expand and improve farm gate access across regional NSW,” said Jackson.
The scheme is being piloted in six local government areas:
- Tamworth Regional Council
- Gunnedah Shire Council
- Junee Shire Council
- Coolamon Shire Council
- Narrandera Shire Council
- Temora Shire Council.
To determine the success of the program, the pilot will be assessed routinely in coming months.
Supported by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, the Farm Gate Assess Network was developed in partnership between the NSW Government, Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA), NSW Farmers and local government.
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