Transport-related drought assistance

Primary producers whose properties have been drought-declared may be eligible for vehicle and transport-related assistance.

Primary producer eligibility

You are eligible for drought assistance if your property has been drought-declared through either:

  • an individual droughted property declaration
  • a regional council/shire declaration.

Find maps of drought-declared areas.

For any of the assistance measures to be applied to a vehicle, you must:

  • be a registered operator of the vehicle
  • be a primary producer
  • garage the vehicle within a drought-declared area or property
  • be using the vehicle only for primary production or private purposes.

You can't apply for assistance for conditionally registered vehicles or vehicles receiving a farm plate concession.

Applying for drought assistance

To apply for these drought assistance measures, visit your local Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Customer Service Centre with evidence that your property is in a drought-declared area. You can provide a copy of either:

  • an Individually Droughted Property Approval (provided by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)
  • documentary evidence of address. This must be in the form of a Category A, Category B or Queensland garaging address document as listed within the evidence of identity requirements for individuals form (PDF, 173KB) and clearly display your name, address and the issuer of the document.

Concessions, exemptions and waivers

Vehicle registration concessions, exemptions and waivers

All primary producers (not just those affected by drought) are eligible for concessional registration.

If you have a vehicle registered with either a private or farm purpose of use, you can pay your registration renewal by a 3-month pay term.

To change your registration renewal pay term to 3 months, use our online services or phone us on 13 23 80.

This registration term is available for up to 1 year after the drought declaration is revoked for the vehicle's garaging address.

Alternatively, if you meet the 1-month registration term eligibility criteria, you may wish to consider paying your registration by direct debit.

You are exempt from paying surcharges that are applied to registration terms of less than 12 months.

You are also exempt from paying late fees that are usually applied when registration is paid after the registration expiry date.

However, if registration is not paid by the due date, the vehicle will be unregistered and can't be used on the road until you have paid the registration.

Seasonal registration allows vehicle registration periods to coincide with rural activities, such as harvesting, without having to cancel at the end of a season and re-register when the season begins again.

At the end of a season, you can put your seasonal registration renewal on hold for up to 1 year before commencing the next seasonal registration term. In drought-declared areas, you can extend this dormant period for up to 2 years.

Seasonally registered vehicles can only be used in the business of primary production. This includes when primary produce is transported from a farm or fishing waters to a location where it is either:

  • loaded onto a train, vessel or another vehicle
  • stored before being processed
  • the subject of the first processing step applied to it
  • processed.

Eligible vehicles can be seasonally registered for 3 or 6 month periods.

To apply for, or defer, seasonal registration, complete the seasonal registration application form (PDF, 337KB) and lodge it at a TMR Customer Service Centre.

To defer your seasonal registration for a second year, you must resubmit this form before the first seasonal registration deferral expires.

If your vehicle is not eligible for seasonal registration, and is registered under the Primary Producers Concession Scheme, you can cancel your vehicle's registration until re-registration is required (for example, seasonal conditions favourable for planting).

We will recognise a previous certificate of inspection for the vehicle when processing an application for re-registration, provided the:

  • expiry date of the certificate has not lapsed as at the time of re-registration
  • re-registration occurs within 12 months of cancellation
  • vehicle is re-registered in the same name
  • cancellation was for a vehicle in a drought-declared area at the time of cancellation.

Find more information about cancelling your vehicle or boat registration and registering your vehicle or motorcycle.

You may use vehicles on a farm plate concession in drought-declared areas to cart water for up to the following distances:

  • Zone 1: coastal location – 20km
  • Zone 2: western location – 40km
  • Zone 3: far western location – 80km.

Find more information on conditional registration, including zone access categories and applicable zone access maps (PDF, 3.9MB). You can also read the Guideline for Conditionally Registering a Vehicle in Queensland.

If you have vehicles registered under the Primary Producer Concession Scheme, you can use these vehicles to transport fodder (including water) to other eligible primary producers who are in drought-declared areas. The primary producer transporting the fodder does not need to reside in a drought-declared area.

The fodder can be transported to the primary producer's drought-declared property or area, provided that:

  • only actual transportation costs for the fodder are charged (i.e. transportation is not provided for reward or under a commercial arrangement)
  • vehicles comply with legal axle loadings
  • vehicles do not exceed the registered or manufacturer's capacity
  • if fodder is transported from another state or territory, the vehicle must comply with the requirements of each state or territory it travels through.

You can use the Primary Producer Concession Scheme vehicles for this purpose for up to 1 year after the drought declaration is revoked.

Certificate of inspection fee waivers

Registered operators of eligible primary production vehicles may apply for an exemption from the certificate of inspection (COI) fee by contacting TMR's Services Booking Unit on 13 23 90 at least 2 days prior to the inspection.

The fee waiver does not exempt vehicles from being inspected or from needing a COI to be issued.

You are only exempt from the fee payable to TMR for a COI and not from any fee payable to an approved inspection station.

Heavy vehicle permits and exemptions

Multi-combination drought permits help move:

  • drought-affected livestock to, or from, a place of agistment or sale
  • fodder to drought-affected properties.

A multi-combination drought permit allows multi-combination vehicles carrying eligible livestock or fodder to, or from, declared drought areas to access certain lower classification routes. For example, type 2 road trains may be permitted to travel on type 1 road train routes, and type 1 road trains may be permitted to travel on certain routes other than road train routes.

Any routes approved will be subject to road capabilities and escort requirements determined by TMR and the Queensland Police Service. Your permit will detail conditions, restrictions and/or escort requirements.

You only require a permit if you need to access a drought-declared property or shire by a route that you cannot otherwise access. Find heavy vehicle routes and restrictions on the Queensland Globe.

Applications for a multi-combination drought permit are processed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) using the NHVR Portal. For help setting up an account and submitting applications, phone the NHVR on 1300 MYHNVR (1300 696 487) during business hours.

You may be eligible to increase the maximum loaded dimension of baled or rolled hay or straw on eligible heavy vehicles.

You must comply with conditions in the NHVR National Class 3 Drought Assistance Dimension Notice.

Stock route grazing and droving on declared Queensland road reserves

A stock route grazing permit allows you to graze your stock on local or state-controlled roads, stock routes and reserves for travelling stock.

You will need to apply for a stock route travel permit from your local council to travel or graze stock on local roads or any road that makes up part of the Queensland stock route.

Learn more about stock route travel permits.

You will need to apply for a road corridor permit to travel or graze stock on state-controlled roads that are not part of the Queensland stock route.

Learn more about road corridor permits.