The Victorian Farmers Federation welcomes the Federal Government’s move to allow longer and higher loads of hay and fodder to travel to drought-affected farmers on state and national-controlled roads.
The drought-relief measure means heavy vehicles up to a maximum height of 4.6 metres and 2.83 metres wide will no longer require a permit to access the existing state-controlled road networks. Previously access was limited for Class 3 vehicles up to 2.6 metres wide and 4.3 metres high.
“We hope this is the first step towards a harmonised national hay carting notice, which will ultimately lead to increased access and efficiency for all kinds of heavy vehicles on Victorian roads,” said VFF Grains President Ross Johns.
“We have seen too many hay deliveries to farmers battling dry conditions held up at state borders because of excessive red tape and bureaucracy.
“Farmers have been calling out for measures which make it easier for hay and fodder to reach farmers in need, and the Federal Government should be congratulated for listening and acting.
“Given current feed shortages, ensuring the efficient movement of hay throughout Victoria and across state borders to drought-affected farmers is critical. These changes will improve the efficiency of road movements of hay and will benefit the entire Australian community, not just farmers.”
While the Victorian Government has also announced a number of drought-relief measures for farmers, VFF is yet to see full details of how the relief package will be rolled out.
“Heading in to 2018’s state election we need commitment from all parties on investment that fixes the infrastructure deficit between our cities and regional Victoria. We need a practical and science based approach to red tape and regulations,” said Mr Johns.
Under the measure announced by the Federal Government, permits will still be required through the NHVR Portal for access to some local government roads.