NSW Farmers has welcomed the long anticipated NSW Cattle Underpass Scheme announced last Friday in Lismore.
NSW Farmers has been advocating for a cattle underpass scheme since 2014 to help improve farm productivity, reduce safety risks for motorists, and reduce road surface damage.
The Cattle Underpass Scheme also formed one of the commitments in the Memorandum of Understanding between NSW Farmers and the NSW Liberals and Nationals in 2016.
Victoria has run a successful livestock underpass scheme for a number of years and it is pleasing that NSW farmers will receive the ability to improve their on-farm safety and streamline their everyday farm operations.
In a survey the association conducted to help scope out the requirements for an underpass scheme, we found a large number of farms have roads dividing paddocks and also separating livestock from important facilities.
This included dairy farms having paddocks on one side of a road and the milking operation on the other.
Some farmers also told us they might have to move their stock across a public road up to five times a day, creating risks for both the livestock and passing motorists.
This scheme help avoid traffic delays and the risks of accidents with vehicles.
It will also reduce road wear and tear and improve the health and welfare for the animals, the farmer and staff.
The NSW Cattle Underpass Scheme will allow farmers to apply for grants up to 50 per cent of the cost of an underpass or for installation of warning signs and flashing lights.
We urge farmers to put in an application as they will be assessed in the order they are received. Applications will close 31 October 2018.
- By NSW Farmers dairy committee chair Erika Chesworth.