LRTAV seeks change at Barnawartha

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed


LRTAV president John Beer voices concern over driver safety at the Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange at Barnwartha North.

LRTAV seeks change at Barnawartha
John Beer’s Western Star unloading at the new Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange at Barnawartha North.

 

The $25 million Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange (NVLX) at Barnawartha North is being praised for state-of-the art facilities which focus on animal welfare.

But Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) president John Beer believes planners should have given more thought to the comfort and safety of truck drivers.

Built by Pallisades Investments and operated by Regional Infrastructure, the NVLX replaces the old saleyards at Bandiana.

LRTAV approached Regional Infrastructure about its concerns before the facility opened. Regional Infrastructure welcomed their input and several changes were made before the first NVLX sale in February. These improvements reduced traffic management problems and created more space for trucks to manoeuvre and reverse up to loading ramps.

Regional Infrastructure general manager Andrew McCarron tells Owner//Driver he shares Beer’s concern about the exit from the saleyard onto the Murray Valley Highway. He says he will approach VicRoads seeking decelerating and accelerating lanes in both directions.

Beer wants additional double-deck loading ramps installed, and believes the four-bay open-air truck wash should be under cover to prevent drivers splashing each other when they clean effluent from their crates.

McCarron says Regional Infrastructure is monitoring whether additional double-deck loading ramps are required. But he says most saleyard truck washes are open-air and there are no plans to build a shed with segregated wash bays.

ALRTA vice president Kevin Keenan of Yarrawonga regularly uses NVLX and opposes the change from pre-sale weighing to post-sale weighing at prime cattle sales. He is concerned livestock carriers will face delays waiting for cattle to be weighed.

McCarron has defended the move, explaining weighing begins soon after the first stock agent has sold animals. He says most major cattle saleyards have post-sale weighing, and the new facility can weigh animals "quicker than any other facility in the country."

Read more in the April 2015 issue of Owner//Driver magazine which also reports on Beer’s 50-year career as a livestock carrier and his mission to improve industry safety.

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