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Truck Stoppage to Grind Livestock Sales to a Halt

17 July 2008

US - Users of long-haul transport need to be aware of the potential disruption likely to flow from the upcoming truck stoppage on July 28 so that they are not caught unprepared, says AgForce Cattle president Greg Brown.

“Livestock sales and disposal will be affected by the proposed transport shutdown, particularly cattle producers moving stock out of drought-affected north-west Queensland,” Mr Brown said.

“However it is not just livestock managers that need to be aware because all supplies in and out of the bush are delivered on trucks, therefore a national road transport shutdown will cause inconvenience to all users and consumers if they do not take steps to stock up on essentials and plan ahead.


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"Everything we use in our businesses, and nearly all of stock movements, come and go in a truck."
AgForce Cattle president Greg Brown.

“Both rural and urban consumers need to understand that a viable transport sector is vital because everything we all use is transported on a truck at some stage. Consumers should get behind the truckies and tell the government in the strongest possible terms to stop implementing policy that will put transport operators out of business.

“The issues that have sparked this truck strike are very concerning for livestock producers because everything we use in our businesses, and nearly all of stock movements, come and go in a truck.”

AgForce Cattle and AgForce Sheep & Wool boards are supporting the proposed stoppage by drivers and operators, in the hope it will highlight the increasing frustrations of rural road transport operators and customers. AgForce has strong concerns that a number of recent transport legislative changes will not be practical and will significantly increase the operating costs of Queensland livestock producers.

Mr Brown said the four main trucking regulatory changes that will impact on livestock businesses are changes to the chain of responsibility legislation, increased registration fees for B-Double trucks, changes in fatigue management regulations and log-book procedures.

New chain of responsibility laws come into effect in September and will dramatically change the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the loading, unloading and scheduling of road transport.

“AgForce Cattle and AgForce Sheep & Wool boards are concerned that transport regulatory bodies at state and federal level do not yet understand the complexities and practices of livestock transport in rural and remote Australia and the full implications these changes will have on beef and sheep producing businesses,” Mr Brown said.

He said some cattle producers in outlying areas are already paying 15-20 per cent of the animals’ value to truck them to market, so any changes that will increase these costs risk making rural businesses unviable.

“In addition, for livestock transport you have to manage what appears to be conflicting road safety and animal welfare requirements, whilst operating on a commercially viable basis. That is why we want exemptions from some of the rules for livestock carriers.

“Given this frustrating situation, we are not surprised that truck operators and drivers are organising this stoppage on July 28 and we feel obliged to add our concerns on behalf of livestock producers.

“Hopefully this protest increases State and Federal government awareness of the scope of the problems facing the road transport industry for livestock producers and that the need of exemptions for livestock carriers will be recognised.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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