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When size does matter: Drought forces new rules for hay trucks

By National Regional Reporting Team's Anna Henderson, Thursday September 20, 2018 - 11:56 EST
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Trucks will be loaded to maximum capacity now to ensure feed gets to farmers more quickly. (file photo) - ABC

When the clock strikes midnight tonight, longer and higher hay loads on trucks will be allowed on state roads to take animal feed to farmers.

Under current regulations some larger heavy vehicles require a permit to travel on state-controlled roads.

The maximum size of vehicle now exempt from having to apply for a permit will be 4.6 metres high and 2.83 metres wide.

Previously, access was limited for Class 3 vehicles up to 4.3 metres high and 2.6 metres wide.

Shortages of hay, grain and other animal feed has meant trucks have been carting fodder across the country from Western Australia and Tasmania bound mainly for regional and rural New South Wales.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement this morning.

A number of trucks have been stopped by authorities at state borders for carting large loads of hay without the appropriate permits.

Mr Morrison said it was common sense to cut through the red tape.

"One common-sense thing that we need to do is make sure when you're driving a truck full of hay, they don't stop it at the border because it doesn't comply with some rule that frankly doesn't need to be there, particularly in circumstances like this," he said.

"And so, one of the things we've identified early is the need for these trucks, large trucks, carrying the hay, to move past state borders and not be pulled up, not be fined, not have to face 6,000 permits a year.

"All of this red tape when we just need to get the feed to the farm."


- ABC

© ABC 2018

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