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Improved access for longer livestock B-doubles

Animal welfare will be boosted under new rules allowing Western Australian and South Australian livestock operators to avoid cross loading livestock on the border, according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the NHVR had agreed to allow 27.5m B-doubles carrying sheep and cattle to a limited network running from the West Australian border to the South Australian Livestock Exchange in Dublin, north of Adelaide.

"This is an important step forward saving time and improving animal welfare for livestock carriers across Western Australia," said Petroccitto.

"We spoke extensively to the operators in South Australia and Western Australia and agreed these livestock trucks could operate safely, and deliver the benefits for this important heavy vehicle sector.

"This shows the benefits of the NHVR working closely with state governments and responding to the needs of industry groups and operators to deliver consistent cross-borders operating conditions."

Previously B-double livestock carriers could only operate 26m vehicles under the Livestock Carrier Notice in South Australia, which required cross loading of up to 650 head of sheep per truck on the SA-WA border, the NHVR said in a statement.

Travel is now reportedly permitted for 27.5m B-double combinations on the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) Level 3A network, from the border to Dublin, via the Eyre Highway, Victoria Parade (Port Augusta), Augusta Highway, Port Wakefield Highway and Carslake Road in Dublin.

Livestock and Rural Transporters Association, SA President David Smith, said end of cross loading at the border could save up to three hours.

"This was something we were keen to see happen, particularly due to the benefits it brings for animal welfare," said Smith.

"I've done the trip myself to cross load and it's a difficult situation, transferring livestock alongside the highway,” he said.

Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA, President Stephen Marley, welcomed the change for operators carrying livestock or fodder relating to livestock.

"This amendment gives transporters the opportunity to organise their cross-border trips differently by taking advantage of the flexibility being offered," said Marley. "This is a good example of jurisdictions working together to achieve positive results for industry."

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