More facilities for New South Wales cotton farmers
The New South Wales government in Australia has provided additional access across the Carrathool Bridge to help the local cotton industry increase productivity and reduce truck trips during harvest.
Minster for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said in response to a request by local NSW farmers and Cotton Australia, the NSW government had worked closely with both the Murrumbidgee and Carrathool Shire Councils to come up with a solution for cotton farmers.
“I am delighted to announce more good news for the local cotton industry, providing improved benefits to local business and farmers,” Gay said.
“Now double road trains capable of transporting up to 75 tonnes of cotton for processing can
apply for a special permit to use the Carrathool Bridge allowing up to 18 cotton modules to be moved per trip - 6 more modules than a B-Double.”
“The NSW Government understands agriculture is the lifeblood our regional communities and is working hard to help the local industry.”
To enable this access Roads and Maritime has installed temporary strain gauges along the bridge to monitor the activity and safely sustain the higher mass. CCTV monitors have also been installed at both ends of the crossing and minimum axle spacing is required to ensure the load is distributed safely.
Murrumbidgee and Carrathool Shire Councils provided support for conditional road train access and have provided approval for the use of the road.
“In 2015, following a $7.8 million strengthening upgrade under Bridges for the Bush Programme, the heritage listed bridge underwent significant repair work to preserve its appearance and structure.”
“This is a temporary measure while the second new $15 million Carrathool Bridge is built which will be able to accommodate heavy freight movements.”
Access could be granted for the 2017 harvest subject to the bridge performing satisfactorily.
“Bridge access will only be provided for double road trains with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator issued permits.”
Cotton Australia has welcomed measures to allow the movement of heavy freight at Carrathool during the ongoing cotton harvest. Local growers and Cotton Australia had asked the NSW Government and Murrumbidgee and Carrathool Shire Councils for assistance in moving cotton from farms to gins.
"Cotton Australia appreciates the support of the NSW Minister for Roads & Freight, Duncan Gay, and the Murrumbidgee and Carrathool Shire Councils for their support in enabling the temporary use of the bridge and approval for roads on either side," said Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray.
"The news could not have come at a better time for the local cotton industry - recent rains have prevented the movement of modules on-farm and to the gins, and this new allowance will greatly assist the rapid movement of cotton for processing," he said. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India