THE LNP is promoting an initiative for modernised heavy vehicle access which they say will simplify and enhance the farm sector’s business operations.
This comes after policy agreement was reached recently between the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and participating states and territories.
Assistant Roads and Transport minister Scott Buchholz said he looked forward to local governments supporting the bid to remove outdated regulations restricting the movements of heavy vehicle agricultural combinations including cane trailers, silage trailers, harvesters and tractors.
“We’ve already cut red tape to make it easier for urgently needed hay to reach drought stricken farmers at a time of need,” Mr Buchholz said.
“These new changes will make it simpler and easier for farmers who often only have to travel short distances on roads to move agricultural equipment as part of their regular work routine.”
Transport and Regional Development minister Michael McCormack said local governments across Australia were asked to support the draft National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice to formally implement the changes and update standards.
Mr McCormack said the notice would remove red tape accumulated over the past 50 years by reducing the current number of designated agricultural zones, reducing the complexity for cross-border movements, improving agricultural operations across farms and providing increased support for drought-affected communities.
“This is exactly the type of common sense decision-making our government stands for, to make life easier for our farmers and others involved in agriculture, and ensure they can do business more efficiently,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is an important breakthrough for the agricultural industry – delivering an agreement to use a modernised and simplified set of standards for moving agricultural combinations on public roads.
“Some of the existing laws around the movement of agricultural combinations date back almost 40 years and require updating.”
NHVR chief executive Sal Petroccitto said they would now work with local road managers to finalise the notice.
“As most agricultural combinations move on local government controlled roads, the notice will now be put to local councils for their feedback,” Mr Petroccitto said.
The development of the notice was based on research conducted by AustRoads on current and future agricultural vehicles.
It had taken almost two years to reach agreement between the state road managers and representatives of the agricultural industry, including the National Farmers’ Federation.
NFF President Fiona Simson said her group welcomed progress towards the notice and while more needed to be done to harmonise these rules, the current draft notice represented a step forward.
“NFF appreciates the commonwealth government's efforts to progress these discussions,” Ms Simson said.
“We will continue to work with state and territory governments to remove the red tape tying up farmers wanting to move ag vehicles on public roads.”