The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is asking for feedback on future safety reforms across the livestock supply chain.
Speaking at the Bulk and Rural Carriers Association Conference 2020 in Tamworth last week, NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the review will target several areas where Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws apply to the movement of sheep and cattle.
“We’ve identified a range of issues including loading practices, understanding of mass management and general understanding of regulatory responsibilities,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“There are a number of questions raised about why overloading occurs, the pressures on drivers and how the livestock supply chain are meeting their safety responsibilities.”
The Livestock Supply Chain issues paper states that the movement of sheep and cattle makes up about four per cent of the national freight task, but accounts for more than 10 per cent of accidents. These accidents include a significant number of rollovers.
The average journey for livestock from the farm gate to the processor – which involves stops and transfers between feedlots, saleyards, vehicles and spelling – is estimated to be more than 500km.
Mr Petroccitto said further guidance around livestock loading practices is needed. This follows a review by the NHVR last year into Improvement Notices issued to saleyards in Forbes and Dubbo.
“It’s important we look at what we can do to make these journeys as safe as possible for drivers, livestock and other road users,” he said.
“We are seeking responses to a series of questions about opportunities to improve mass management awareness and practices, and identify tools that will help members of the livestock supply chain in meeting their safety and regulatory responsibilities.”
Information about the Livestock Supply Chain Review can be found here.
Stakeholders have until 24 April 2020 to make submissions about the issues raised.