FROM Broken Hill, it’s a 325 kilometer trip west – or a 750 kilometre trip east – for the nearest truck wash.
That’s about to change.
State roads minister Melinda Pavey announced there had been 26 successful applicants for the $10 million Fixing Country Truck Washes program – with $700,000 to be spent on one for the Silver City.
Other truck washes unveiled today included Cobar, Barellan Road at Narrandera, as well as the Cootamundra and Cowra saleyards. Tenterfield was also announced last month, while Walcha, the Upper Hunter, Singleton and the Liverpool Plains will also get one.
Truck wash facilities provide a stopover point for drivers doing long distance hauls and promote good biosecurity and weed management.
Government also estimates for every minute a B-Double cuts down on travel time, $1 is saved.
The cash drop was applauded by the Pastoralists Association of West Darling, who Barwon MP Kevin Humpries credited as initially raising the issue through the old Rural Lands Protection Board.
Mr Humphries said having a stopover point at Broken Hill would help greatly as producers continue to restock across northern NSW and southern Queensland.
Truck washes are a environmental boon as well, as they promotes better disposal and re-use of water used to clean vehicles.
Pastoralist Association of West Darling president Lachlan Gall said transporters generally needed to wash their vehicle trays out after every trip.
“This (funding) is certainly welcome. It’s a tremendous inconvenience to go 325 kilometres for livestock transporters to wash their crates out,” he said.
“It will also help, heaven forbid, (in the event) that we have a disease outbreak.”
At Broken Hill, speaking at the NSW Nationals annual conference, Minister Pavey said the focus was on key routes where current washing facilities aren’t up to scratch.
Minister Pavey said while the program had been long in gestation, it would now deliver productivity and environmental gains.
“(It) will help to build a strong, reliable freight transport network by focusing on hotspots where truck washing facilities and effluent disposal don’t currently meet the needs of truck operators, especially livestock carriers,” Mrs Pavey said.
“This is an essential industry to the state’s economy and I’m delighted with the local government projects that have been successful.”
The $10 million program is a joint state-federal initiative, with $5 million contributions from each.
All successful applicants will be advised on the next steps for obtaining the funds.
Successful projects will be release in consultation and collaboration with local councils.