VFF slams Geelong truck wash price-hike

The VFF recently wrote to the Geelong City Council, expressing our dismay at the significant price increases at the Old Geelong Saleyards truck wash.

VFF Livestock Group President Scott Young said the proposed rises will significantly impact producers’ and transporter’s ability to protect the State against Exotic Animal Diseases. Truck washes serve an important role ensuring animal welfare and protecting the environment from improper disposal of effluent. The VFF is concerned that any pricing structure that is prohibitive will lead to a decline in animal welfare and risk environmental damage.

The new pricing structure at the Geelong Truck Wash of $3.41 per minute up from $1.00 a minute is significantly more than comparable truck washes across the State. Ballarat Saleyards truck wash in comparison charges $0.95 per minute.

On this pricing structure the cost of cleaning and disposing of effluent at Geelong truck wash will increase from $120 dollars for B Double to $409 dollars under the new pricing structure. Further a Semi trailer with two decks will increase from $30 to $102, while a semitrailer with 4 decks will increase from $ 80 to $273. This significant increase in charges is restrictive and will discourage truck drivers from the using the truck wash.

The lack of an economically affordable truck wash will have severe impacts on farm biosecurity and animal welfare as transporters will struggle to accommodate this extra cost in an economic environment where producers are already facing rising input costs, and lower prices for their livestock.

Effects from this price increase may see effluent being disposed of improperly which would have a detrimental effect on biosecurity and environmental protections. By effectively restricting the Geelong truck wash to users by increasing the prices by such a degree, the VFF is concerned that Greater Geelong City Council is not adequately preparing for a outbreak of EAD.

We’re calling on the Greater Geelong City Council to adjust its pricing to reflect a model that will encourage transporters to use the Old Geelong Saleyards Truck Wash, which in turn will contribute to our efforts to guard against an EAD outbreak, increase animal welfare outcomes and protect our local environment.