Farmers welcome new trial scheme


A new trial scheme to help first responders fight bushfires has been welcomed by NSW Farmers in that Farm Fire Units (FFUs) – or private vehicles used for firefighting purposes – can now be driven unregistered, provided certain conditions are met.

Usually consisting of a small truck, ute, or trailer carrying a tank of water that could be rapidly deployed when a fire broke out, FFUs were a common implement on many farms. Until now, many of those vehicles could not be legally driven on roads.

NSW Farmers Rural Affairs Committee member, Garry Grant, applauded Transport for NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service for facilitating the trial which would inform future options for the critical units. He says it’s a positive first step towards increased safety and peace of mind for farmers across the state who are usually the first the first responders to fires in rural areas.

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

“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.”

The nominated Farm Fire Fighting Vehicle:

  • must have firefighting equipment permanently attached,
  • can only be used in connection with emergency bush fire incidents,
  • can only be used on road or road related areas within 100km radius of the storage address, and
  • must be in a safe operating condition.

“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”, Mr Grant says.

To nominate an eligible vehicle for the trial before it concludes on March 31, complete a trial nomination form with two photographs of the nominated vehicle at

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