New South Wales has developed a firm stance on livestock carriers, hitting them with $550 fines for spillage of small amounts of effluent, the mix of faeces and urine from cows, sheet and pigs.
These contentious fines come under the improper restraint clauses of the HVNL and in the future effluent management systems for livestock carriers are inevitable.
The industry itself is pushing for the sharing of liability for effluent spillage “up the chain” within CoR legislation.
Members of ALRTA say it’s not their livestock therefore it’s not their effluent and the client should be held responsible.
The ALRTA said it argued successfully to the Queensland Parliamentary Transport and Utilities Committee that the application of CoR laws to effluent control must be clarified. The NTC has been given the next 12 months to clarify the issue.
“We are putting all options on the table including a full exemption under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.”
Speaking to Big Rigs, Graham Hoare from Martin’s transport, who is the south-east Queensland delegate for the LRTAQ explained that livestock transporters are doing their best to control effluent especially in metropolitan areas. He stated,
“All the abattoirs and meatworks are in the Brisbane area and while we have fitted effluent tanks there is nowhere to empty them before we come into the metropolitan area,”
He also agreed that the RMS in NSW is hard on the issue of effluent, and that operators in Queensland are trying to be proactive before legislation moves on the issue.
He highlighted the need for somewhere to empty effluent tanks, which all new livestock trailers must be fitted with. He suggested somewhere like near the new Toowoomba bypass.
Mr Hoare said the government and councils needed to keep up with the industry and match operators efforts in managing effluent.
He said looking to New Zealand as an example was a good way to find solutions around this issue.
Cattle producers and feed lot management aren’t taking liability for effluent, leaving the responsibility totally to the operator once the animals are on the truck.
Ultimately transporters say under the chain of responsibility, the producer fits into the HVNL definition of a packer and therefore carries part of the responsibility under the CoR.
Transporters, producers and livestock companies must work together to find a solution to the effluent issue.