THE State Government will spend more than $100,000 to provide free pilot escorts for drought-stricken farmers in the state's north-west to urgently move cattle to greener pastures on road trains between Clermont and Emerald.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the government would cut the red tape for type 2 three-trailer road train combinations capable of carrying up to 120 cattle between the two towns.
There will also be a 17% increase in cattle trains this year, including an additional weekly service from Winton until the end of October, and an extra weekly service from Cloncurry until the end of September.
"Pilots are required for road trains operating between Clermont and Emerald," Mr Emerson said.
"The government will take on the cost of finding and funding pilots for drought-affected cattle.
"This will allow cattle to travel via Winton, Longreach, Alpha, then north to Clermont on the approved type 2 network.
"With the number of heavy vehicles expected, it will cost more than $100,000 over the next three months."
Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson said he welcomed the moves to help suffering graziers and stock.
"Those graziers who missed out on the wet need our support and it's up to everyone in the industry to do their bit," Mr Johnson said.
"We are cutting red tape to get these trucks moving, but also to ensure it's done in a safe and responsible manner.
"Support from the road and rail transport systems is crucial to get cattle on to greener pastures."
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