Pollies get down and dirty to launch truck wash program
THERE are some times when politicians have to to get down and dirty and a $10 million improvement to the state's truck washing network is one of them.
The Nationals deputy leader Senator Fiona Nash was at the Grafton Regional Livestock Selling Centre this morning to do the job.
She joined the Member for Page Kevin Hogan and a coterie of State and local government politicians to launch a $10 million upgrade to the NSW truck wash out facilities at the Grafton Saleyards.
The joint initiative - Fixing Country Truck Washes - has been designed to target key livestock routes or effluent 'hotspots' across NSW where wash out facilities are inadequate to meet the demand of the livestock transport task.
Senator Nash said the joint funding commitment demonstrates a focus from the Coalition on delivering improved outcomes for rural and regional industries.
"The meat and livestock industry is vital to our local communities and is a driving force of our national economy - it is essential we foster its ongoing success," Ms Nash said.
"As a farmer myself, I understand the importance of providing adequate infrastructure to support local transport operators and this new initiative will help them to go about their daily business in a more efficient and productive manner."
Mr Hogan said communities in the Page electorate would notice an improvement from upgrades to facilities like Grafton Regional Livestock Selling Centre, which processes 1000 head of cattle a week and is on a key freight route.
"The current facility at Grafton is located on the junction of the Gwydir Highway and Pacific Highway, it has B-Double trucks coming in from every direction every day of the week," Mr Hogan said.
"The current facility at Grafton includes one wash-out bay capable of fitting one single semi-trailer at a time - it is a choke point on sale day and is unable to meet the current throughput.
"By upgrading Grafton to install another wash-out bay and increasing the bay size to accommodate B-Doubles we cut wash out times by up to half, better meet the truck demand and ensure trucks don't go back on the road unwashed."
The NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson were all on hand for the announcement.made the announcement today at the Grafton Regional Livestock Selling Centre.
Cr Williamson said council would now be required to apply for the funding.
"Given they've chosen to make the launch here in Grafton I'd say our chances are pretty good," Cr Williamson said.
Local stock and station agent David Farrell said the new facilities are necessary.
"What we've got here is outdated," he said. "And the drivers now get fined if their trucks are putting effluent all over the road.
"This is going to make things a lot easier for the truckies coming to the saleyards."