Lockyer Valley farmers are set to be among the winners from a proposal that will allow easier movement of agricultural vehicles on our local roads according to Federal Member for Wright and Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport Scott Buchholz.
State and territory governments recently agreed to the changes and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will now begin extensive consultations with local governments who own and manage many of the roads these vehicles travel on.
Mr Buchholz announced that negotiations are about to commence with councils across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia on the introduction of a new National Class 1 Agricultural Notice regulating the movement of many vehicles used for farming.
“This proposal means our local farmers moving agricultural machinery like large tractors and harvesters between properties will be spend less time filling out paperwork and more time on productive work,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Currently farmers moving agricultural vehicles on public roads have to apply for permits that in some circumstances can take up to 28 days to approve.
“The planned changes mean they’ll no longer have to apply for permits each time they travel.”
The Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle Notice will reduce the number of zones across the four states from 16 to just five.
“The new zone covering our region will accommodate the type of agricultural activity that occurs here” Mr Buchholz said.
“I appreciate the support of the NHVR who’ve worked with my office to introduce the Class 1 Notice and early indications are that councils have responded positively to the proposal,” Mr Buchholz said.
“The result will be greater productivity for our vegetable growers in the Lockyer Valley, livestock farmers in the west and other produce growers around our diverse region,” Mr Buchholz said.
“The NHVR will this week commence more than 40 information sessions with local governments across the eastern states and I encourage our local councils in Wright to take up the opportunity to provide feedback in the coming negotiations.”
General Manager of Sutton Farms in Gatton, Brock Sutton has welcomed the Federal Government’s changes saying it will assist management of their horticulture business through less red tape and restriction through administration.
“Previous restrictions made the movement of agricultural equipment through agricultural regions extremely difficult and arduous. Recognising these zonal restrictions were dated and not fit for purpose in the Lockyer Valley is a significant relief, Mr Sutton said.
“Farms these days are much more dispersed over regions and movement of ag equipment is essential for our survival. We need to move the equipment when we need to, so any regulatory red tape that restricts or limits that is a huge burden to our process,
“In short, the changes will help Sutton Farms and other agricultural businesses in the Lockyer Valley run our businesses the way we need to in today’s agriculture business environment.”