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Unregistered FFUs eligible for off-farm use in NSW trial

Grain Central, January 29, 2024

Unregistered Farm Fire Units often play an important part in controlling blazes like this one in November last year at Grawlin near Lightning Ridge, and they are now eligible for on-road use thanks to a trial under way in NSW. Photo: NSW Rural Fire Service

IN A TRIAL being undertaken in New South Wales, private farm vehicles meeting certain conditions can now be driven unregistered when they are being used as Fire Fighting Units.

Braidwood grazier and NSW Farmers rural affairs committee member Garry Grant applauded Transport for NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service for facilitating the trial, which he said was a win for common sense.

“Stopping fires as soon as we can is essential, and farmers play a key role in these firefighting efforts in rural communities,” Mr Grant said.

“It’s pleasing to see our calls for the legal use of FFUs heard, as these vehicles have proved critical for farmers during many recent bushfires.”

Farm Fire Units usually consist of a small truck, ute or trailer carrying a tank of water that can be rapidly deployed when a fire breaks out.

Mr Grant said the trial was a positive first step towards increased safety and peace of mind for many farmers, who are often first responders to fires in rural areas.

“Being able to use these vehicles legally and under the protection of third-party insurance would be the ultimate goal of this trial, which we welcome as the hot weather continues.“If the trial is successful and FFUs can be operated while unregistered into the future, this would provide the clarity and assurance farmers have been looking for when operating these vehicles along public roads.”

With bushfire season now in full swing, Mr Grant encouraged farmers to nominate eligible vehicles to participate in the trial before it concludes on March 31.

“If you’ve got a vehicle that’s in a safe operating condition and has firefighting equipment permanently attached, you can nominate it for the trial for use within a 100km radius of its storage address.

“Farmers should have the tools available at their disposal to safely and effectively fight fires on or near their properties, and this trial is taking us one step closer to ensuring that.”

Those wishing to nominate a vehicle for the trial can do so through the NSW Government website portal.

Source: NSW Farmers

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