Calls for nationwide hay dimension consistency

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Consistent compliance approach needs NHVR intervention, Clark says

Calls for nationwide hay dimension consistency
Calls for consistent hay dimension rules

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has this week consulted with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) about bringing in standard dimensions for the carting of hay.

Recent reports about fines on trucks taking fodder aid to drought-stricken farmers in western areas of eastern states have given such issues a higher profile than before.

"At the recent NatRoad conference, one of our members reported that he had been fined under chain of responsibility laws for an over-dimension load of hay," NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says. 

"At the time he was running hay at the permitted width in New South Wales.  But the standard in Queensland was not the same. 

"This is not about re-litigating a case. But it is about getting the needed consistency in the application of the rules for loads around the country. 

"This is best achieved through the NHVR.  NHVR is extremely important in the delivery of a safe, efficient and sustainable sector and industry cannot achieve this without working harmoniously with this agency.

"We hope that the authorities will continue to recognise the extraordinary circumstances of farmers affected by drought, which is extreme in its severity."

Clark adds that NatRoad is very appreciative of the concessions that have been applied by the NSW government, including the latest notice which allows eligible vehicles carrying baled or rolled hay to operate as wide as 2.83m and as high as 4.6m in certain circumstances.

"We would like to see a similar exemption notice applied nationwide as hay from all over the country continues to be delivered to NSW," Clark says. 

"That has been the crux of our discussions with NHVR.

"NatRoad will actively participate in the review of the National Heavy Vehicle Law and we will be pressing for uniformity in regulations which should be the same across the country. 

"What matters most is getting in place sensible laws and that should happen now for the carting of hay."

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