Producers impacted by conditions of the Dalton and Rye Park Road (MR241)

A stronger transport link between the Southern Livestock Exchange and the Dalton and Rye Park Road (MR241) would, arguably, benefit farmers.

The unsealed road is used for freight with various livestock, agriculture, horticulture and retail industries, as well as a connection to the Hume Highway.

Livestock trucks on a direct route to SELX detour up to 30 kilometres to avoid Dalton and Rye Park Road (MR241). Photo: Leanne Picker.

Livestock trucks on a direct route to SELX detour up to 30 kilometres to avoid Dalton and Rye Park Road (MR241). Photo: Leanne Picker.

The poor condition of the road can add to the cost for marketing sheep and cattle at the South East Livestock Exchange (SELX) at Yass.

It is the preferred route used by livestock truck operator Andrew Johnson, ANC Johnson. He travels the road on average five times a week. During peak times this can be up to four times a day.

However, according to Mr Johnson, some drivers will divert up to 30 kilometres from the direct link to SELX to avoid stress on the animals and the maximum vehicle wear and tear.

Others increase their charges to travel roads in poor conditions.

“If they’re out at Rye Park way, they’ll [livestock operators] go back to Boorowa and back to Yass, which adds another 30 kilometres on the trip,” Mr Johnson said.

“In Dalton, they’re looking at diverting back through Gunning.”

These charges add up to around $5 per kilometre. We are in tough seasonal conditions, Mr Johnson says, so he'll take the shortest route.

Mr Johnson says the condition of the road can be dangerous. The fine gravel on the road causes corrugations and ruts, and the road is narrow. “It’s not made for two trucks to meet each other.”

Upgrading the road is a priority in the Southern Tablelands Regional Economic Development Strategy 2018-22, and the Upper Lachlan Shire Council (ULSC) is advocating for an upgrade which would seal approximately 22 kilometres of road, ULSC general manager John Bell said.

Sections of the road may be upgraded as conditional for the proposed Rye Park Wind Farm.

"The quantum of this work could make it more affordable for both ULSC and the NSW Government to realise the full economic potential of the region. 

"ULSC has applied for $9.15 million in funding under the NSW State Government’s Fixing Country Roads program, with the council to contribute a further $300,000," Mr Bell said.