Special permit granted to Gulgong transport company and their road trains

Photo: Joy Harrison
Photo: Joy Harrison

One small step for a local business, one giant leap for struggling farmers.

J & J K Lewis and Sons is a small transport business located in Gulgong, has been granted a special permit for their road train.

Since May this year, the business has been purchasing hay from a family in Bordertown, South Australia and been bringing it in to local farmers by the use of a road train.

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So far, the business has done 19 road train trips back to back from SA for a fortnight.

The one who organised the road train permit, William Lewis, said there was a lot of effort involved but was worth the while.

“It’s quite an ordeal to get. It was a matter of 18 hours on the phone, 84 emails, and a total of three weeks to get the permission,” he said.

Photo: Joy Harrison

Photo: Joy Harrison

“Having the permission will save us two days of work time by not having to go back and forth to Dubbo.”

Although hay is not donated, the permit is said to also benefit farmers who are experiencing a shortage of stock feed.

“They will definitely see a benefit in the cost of freight because we won’t have to make as many trips back and forth,” Mr Lewis said.

“It’s a really great thing.”

The permit was granted by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator who said their work is done to ensure safety when heavy vehicles are travelling on particular roads.

This is due to the large size of the vehicles which may be deemed unsafe on narrow roads.

"If it weren’t for the current drought, it probably wouldn’t have been granted."

“The NHVR is working with local road managers across western NSW to continue to improve access for heavy vehicles. Safe access for heavy vehicles is vital for local economies and local businesses,” NHVR spokesperson Andrew Berkam said.

The approval is thought to not have been granted if it weren’t for the current drought crisis.

“If it weren’t for the current drought, it probably wouldn’t have been granted,” Mr Lewis said.

“The NHVR and road managers are fast tracking permits for heavy vehicles which are supporting properties in drought-affected regions, carrying fodder and livestock. The NHVR has also agreed to waive the $73 access fee for heavy vehicles servicing properties in drought-affected regions,” Mr Berkam said.

The route for J & J K Lewis and Sons is from Dubbo to Dunedoo to Gulgong, and supplies to a handful of clients in Glen Alice, Bathurst, Mudgee and Gulgong.

The permit was issued on August 31, 2018.