Cotton

Agricultural transport frustrations come to a head in Queensland

Grain Central, March 29, 2017

QUEENSLAND grain growers’ frustration with the process required to move oversized agricultural machinery is beginning to boil over.

AgForce Grains president Wayne Newton said it was an issue growers constantly raised with him and was the hot topic during a series of AgForce Grains meetings in Central Queensland last week attended by about 250 people.

Mr Newton said Form 14 – the regulation for moving ag machinery without a permit – had not been reviewed for over a decade and almost all ag machinery was now larger than the dimensions included in the regulations.

“The permit process is confusing, time consuming and it is impossible to find the right information or people to assist. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator website sends people to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, while Transport and Main Roads’ website directs people to the NHVR,” he said.

While there is currently a national ‘harmonisation’ process underway to bring about more consistency in heavy vehicle laws across the country, Mr Newton said simply ‘harmonising’ regulations wasn’t much use if the existing arrangements do not suit the machinery or conditions.

“While safety is paramount, we must also ensure the process is workable and common sense is applied. If growers are moving machinery in agricultural zones and especially on low traffic roads, it’s fundamental that those movements be treated differently to driving down the Capricorn Highway,” he said.

“It’s time the decision makers were given authentic, accurate information about what is moving on the roads in the ag space.”

AgForce will be running a survey throughout April and May seeking details about the dimensions of grain growers’ machinery and how and where it is moved.

They are also calling for growers’ thoughts on what sizes they could be facing into the future.

Meanwhile, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has issued a derestriction notice to exempt the movement of, or transportation of, eligible cotton harvesters and agricultural equipment in association with cotton harvesting in Queensland from certain travel restrictions in place over the Easter period.

This will allow cotton pickers to now be moved on certain days over the Easter period that were previously not allowed in Zones A and B (see Figure 1). Full report https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017G00336

Figure 1: Zones in Queensland where eligible cotton equipment can operate on roads over Easter.

 

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Comments

  1. charles nason, March 29, 2017

    I have been told that in USA and Canada , the community accepts that big agricultural machinery has to be moved even on freeways ( Someone might confirm this? ) They understand the value of an unfettered agricultural sector
    I have also been told that in at least one USA state , overloading “is not an issue” . They accept grain has to be moved to storage . They deal with the road damage later . But it seems to only apply to farmers
    When will Australia wake up that food security is important

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