State Gov't to help drought-affected graziers move cattle

Pilot escorts would be provided free of charge for type 2 road trains travelling between Clermont and Emerald thanks to the State Government.
Pilot escorts would be provided free of charge for type 2 road trains travelling between Clermont and Emerald thanks to the State Government. Paula Heelan

THE State Government will cut red tape to ensure a major central Queensland stock route remains open to assist drought-affected cattle producers from the state's north west.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said pilot escorts would be provided free of charge for type 2 road trains travelling between Clermont and Emerald.

"Pilots are required for road trains operating between Clermont and Emerald," Mr Emerson said.

"The Newman Government will take on the cost of finding and funding pilots for drought-affected cattle.

"This will allow cattle to travel via Winton, Longreach, Alpha, then north to Clermont on the approved type 2 network. 

"With the number of heavy vehicles expected, it will cost more than $100,000 over the next three months."

Type 2 road trains are three-trailer combinations that carry up to 120 cattle.

Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson welcomed the move which would help graziers suffering under drought conditions.

"Those graziers who missed out on the wet need our support and it's up to everyone in the industry to do their bit," Mr Johnson said.

"We are cutting red tape to get these trucks moving, but also to ensure it is done in a safe and responsible manner.

"Support from the road and rail transport systems is crucial to get cattle on to greener pastures."

The Newman Government has also announced a 17 per cent increase in cattle trains for 2013, including an additional weekly service from Winton until the end of October and an extra weekly service from Cloncurry until the end of September. 

"A trial last year showed the extra services were being well used by industry, so I'm pleased we have been able to continue offering them to graziers," Mr Johnson said.

Topics:  central queensland stock route, road trains, state government



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