Further drought support is on its way for our State’s farmers, with the NSW Government today announcing improved access for heavy vehicles carrying supplies and stock to drought-affected areas.

The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice, which will come into effect on 15 August, will mean more hay can be transported per truckload, reducing costs for farmers.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said these new measures ensure that essential feed and water can be transported across the State as efficiently as possible.

“This means we will not waste a trip – every truck load will be used to its full capacity,” Mr Blair said.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said with 100 per cent of NSW in drought the NSW Liberals & Nationals are working hard to reduce costs for farmers.

“The NSW Government has streamlined the application process for those vehicles which don’t meet the conditions under the Notice and require access under permit,” Mrs Pavey said.
Drought applications are being prioritised through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) portal, by including the word DROUGHT in the reference section of the application.

The new NSW Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Exemption Notice will:

  • Allow eligible vehicles transporting hay to travel under notice and without a permit, including B-doubles up to 26 metres long:
    • Up to 2.83 metres wide on all approved roads
    • Up to 4.6 metres high, on the approved 4.6 metre high network

From today, The NSW Government will:

  • On a case-by-case basis, allow access permits for road trains on roads not currently approved for road trains
  • An extra $15 million has already been committed for road maintenance
  • On a case-by-case basis, provide access permits for trucks transporting loads of hay in excess of 4.6 metres high
  • Refund National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Roads and Maritime permit fees for drought relief applications
  • Establish a dedicated hotline (1800 952 292) and website (www.rms.nsw.gov.au/drought-freight) for any questions or queries transport operators or farmers may have

Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said the region’s farmers had been doing it tough for some time, and today’s announcement is another piece in the puzzle to help ease the burden on them.

“The new notice means farmers who’ve been having trouble moving hay should now find it much easier to get it to the places it is needed most,” Mr Johnsen said.