FILE PIC: The donated hay load was headed to drought-affected farmers.
FILE PIC: The donated hay load was headed to drought-affected farmers.

Transport department defends $10k hay load fine

THE Department of Main Roads and Transport has issued a statement after Monday's report about the truck company fined $10,000 for overloading a donated hay load bound for drought-affected farmers.

Read the full story here: $10k fine for company helping drought-affected farmers

The statement issued today said: "The defendant's heavy vehicle was intercepted by transport inspectors on June 25, 2017 with loads on both trailers exceeding the legal width limits and inadequate restraints.

"Transport Inspectors are highly trained and play an important role in contributing to Safer Drivers, Safer Vehicles and Safer Roads. They make sure all vehicles using our network are compliant and therefore ensuring them, and other road users return home safely.

"On August 30, Norseve Pty Ltd was fined $10,000 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court for four chain of responsibility offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

"When the vehicle was intercepted the transport inspectors were not advised that the hay was a donation.

"A fine in the range of $9000 to $10,000 was appropriate considering the maximum penalty was $138,500.

"We are currently working towards mirroring NSW's recently introduced 2.83m width allowances for the movement of fodder to drought declared areas.

"This notice was not in place at the time of this offence, and regardless, the operator would still have been responsible for ensuring adequate restraints were in place."