Stakeholders have hailed the NSW government’s decision to make its Farm Gate Access initiative permanent after a successful trial in six pilot areas.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said making the network permanent will improve access to local roads for heavy vehicles by reducing the need to apply for access permits.
“The trial has been a success for both industry and local government and provides councils better insight into freight movements on their roads,” Mr Farraway said in a 27 May media release.
“Modern heavy vehicles are fitted with telematics which provide both the councils and operators an accurate picture of their movement and can be used to base road upgrade priorities on.”
“With the trial becoming permanent, we expect more councils to take advantage of what telematics data can offer which will drive productivity improvement in our regions,” he said.
Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association (LBRCA) President Paul Pulver said the Farm Gate Access initiative will increase productivity and economy of task for transporters and deliver strong safety benefits for local communities by reducing the number of freight movements and reducing the cost of business.
“Fewer road movements, less pollution, lower operating costs equals safer roads, better loads, and less red tape.”
The network was developed by Transport for NSW, Livestock Bulk and Rural Carriers Association, NSW Farmers and 12 partnering councils. One hundred and thirty-five vehicles took part in the trial.
Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Chief Executive Matt Pinnegar said Farm Gate is a great example of the type of heavy vehicle reform project that other state and territory jurisdictions might consider.
“It brings together councils, industry and state government agencies to facilitate the movements of higher productivity vehicles across local government road networks and also gives councils access to telematics data that helps them with their network forward planning,” he said.