NATIONALS MPS WELCOME TRANSPORT CHANGES
Nationals MPs Thomas George and Chris Gulaptis are pleased with the introduction of a new livestock loading scheme aimed at increasing freight productivity and generating jobs in the NSW meat and livestock industry.
“This reform lifts livestock transport and loading in NSW to a competitive playing field with schemes long-used in other states; notably by our key competitors in Queensland.
“I have been involved for over 16 years with the NSW meat and livestock industry asking successive State Labor governments for a scheme to allow it to transport comparable weights with other states, and for 16 years these industry pleas fell on deaf ears.
“This announcement is the single biggest policy the Government has announced for the meat and livestock industry so far,” Mr George said.
The new scheme will allow more productive weights for livestock trucks, but will ‘cap’ truck loads to Higher Mass Limits (HML).
This means a B-double carrying livestock will be able to operate at up to 68 tonnes (or HML), as opposed 62.5 tonnes for General Mass Limits (GML) or 64.5 tonnes for Concessional Mass Limits (CML).
In NSW, a B-double truck can currently carry 56 to 60 head of cattle (depending on average animal weight) while in neighbouring states the same truck may carry between 66 to 72 cattle.
Eligible vehicles fitted with certified road-friendly suspension can now operate at higher mass limits when carrying cattle, sheep, pigs or goats in NSW.
Industry estimates the current NSW rules add an extra 15 per cent to freight costs (or about $8 for each animal) and results in extra truck movements on NSW roads.
“This reform will help improve the economic viability of the state’s meat and livestock supply chain and reduce freight costs for NSW farmers, livestock carriers, abattoirs, feedlots and sale yards; not to mention reducing the number of trucks on the road.
"Thomas and I have had numerous discussions with local operators and carriers, including the Northern Co-operative Meat Company, and this will be a well received change.
“On average, for every B-double truck operating at a higher mass limit you can reduce the number of semi-trailer movements on the road by nearly 40 per cent,” Mr Gulaptis said.
The new scheme has been developed in conjunction with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), NSW Local Government and Shires Association, the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association of NSW and the NSW Farmers Association.