Drought recovery freight initiatives ease tension for harvesters

The 2020/21 NSW grain harvest is one of the largest harvests in many years, and as a result the NSW Government is working to ensure freight will run as smoothly as possible.

The freight branch of Transport for NSW has worked closely with the agriculture sector, freight operators and freight network managers to identify a number of initiatives to increase efficiency of moving grain and fodder from farm to market.

Transport for NSW will continue to priority process drought related access permit requests until September 2021 as a drought recovery initiative.

The drought recovery initiative will provide permit and where possible conditional mapped access when transporting the following commodities types;

  • Fodder freight,
  • water cartage,
  • stock or restocking freight,
  • emergency water infrastructure,
  • grain (as prescribed under the Grain Harvest Management Scheme) or livestock

The exemption applies when transporting the load type and an empty return trip.

The exemption does not apply when the return trip is carting general goods or other load types not covered by the exemption.

Similar to the recent drought access granted for transporting hay, the Newell Highway through Parkes has been conditionally approved for all road trains up to 36.5 metres long transporting grain. Transport for NSW are also working to provide road train access to key grain receiver sites.

The Grain Harvest Management Scheme will also be extended until 30 June 2021. The scheme allows up to five per cent leeway when determining load limits in the paddock and is aimed at the safe and productive movement of grain.

A new farming and agricultural webpage has been developed by Transport for NSW in partnership with the NSW Farmers Association to help farmers access simple and accessible online information on light and heavy vehicle requirements and schemes in NSW which relate to the movement of freight specific to farming activities.

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