Queensland transports the largest volume of cattle in Australia by road over long distances for supply to markets, feedlots, sale yards, abattoirs and ports.
That’s why it’s vital our transport costs are kept as low as possible and government regulations are as streamlined as possible.
Since the mid-1990s, the livestock transport industry has been afforded mass concessions through the Livestock Loading Scheme, which allows livestock to be loaded volumetrically. The scheme ensures cattle are loaded to appropriate weight and space requirements to meet road safety, road surface protection and animal welfare considerations. Producers benefit from the scheme as it means cattle can be loaded on property with no scales required.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads started a review of the scheme in 2016, and the data has shown livestock freight is as compliant as other general freight. However, a technical working group is still reviewing the guidelines for the scheme to resolve any inconsistencies. This has led to the Department again raising the issue of upper mass limits.
AgForce has teamed up with the Livestock and Rural Trucking Association Queensland and Queensland Trucking Association to provide a unified voice to the State Government in support of the concessional scheme and to oppose any introduction of an upper mass limit. There is no evidence to support the need for an upper mass limit and if introduced, the costs would cripple our industry, as few producers have truck weighing facilities on their properties.
The Livestock Loading Scheme is unique to Queensland and was developed to enable the movement of cattle in remote areas, and to provide livestock transporters with assurance they were complying with regulations without the need for on-road interceptions. We acknowledge there are opportunities for improvement, and the trucking industry is looking at ways to manage weight in B-triple configurations to reduce road wear and tear.
The current Livestock Loading Scheme is the most cost effective, efficient and sustainable method for managing the road transport of livestock in Queensland and it needs to be maintained in its current form.