Drought recovery freight initiatives
The 2020/21 NSW grain harvest is set to be one of the largest harvests in many years. The NSW Government is ensuring freight will run as smoothly as possible so the agriculture sector and freight operators benefit from this bumper harvest season.
Transport for NSW Freight Branch has worked closely with the agriculture sector, freight operators and freight network managers to identify a number of multi-model initiatives to increase efficiency of moving grain and fodder from farm to market.
Ensuring the freight sector; road, rail and sea is highly competitive will drive value back to farm businesses and inevitably the consumer.
Drought recovery access
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.
Note: this 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. We 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. This scheme allows up to five per cent leeway when determining load limits in the paddock and improves the safe and productive movement of grain.
Provide a dedicated Drought Recovery phone line (1800 952 292)
The drought relief helpline was created on 10 August 2018 to provide help and support to those affected by the drought. This will now be available to those who need support for drought recovery particularly on the movement of grain and fodder.
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.
The NSW Government has delivered more than 190 road and seven rail projects throughout the State through the Fixing Country Roads and Rail programs. These programs have provided targeted infrastructure funding for regional freight projects.
These projects have seen sidings upgraded to meet modern freight standards and increase capacity, rail lines rebuilt to take increased axle loads, roads upgraded to provide better connectivity with grain and important freight points and paperwork reduced to allow the more efficient transporting of product.