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'Cut the red tape now NHVR!'

Agforce held an oversized agricultural machinery meeting in Theodore.
Agforce held an oversized agricultural machinery meeting in Theodore.

FARMERS are calling for a common sense approach to oversized agricultural machinery, in a push to rid themselves of red tape.

A recent survey conducted by AgForce Queensland, found that 30% of farmers were delaying machinery upgrades due to difficulty complying with regulations.

In response AgForce has called for transport rules for heavy agricultural vehicles to be overhauled urgently, labelling the current system "out of date”.

AgForce Grains Board director Jordan Anderson said regulations governing the movement of agricultural machinery on Queensland roads hadn't changed for 16 years, while the modern machinery being routinely used on farms had grown in size considerably.

"AgForce welcomes the fact the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is looking to streamline regulations by developing a single national notice, but it's critical the new notice takes into account the size of machinery now and the machinery farmers will use in the future,” he said.

"Queensland farmers will continue to invest in machinery and equipment that improves their productivity and profitability, and the last thing we want to do is prevent them from adopting better farm practices because of antiquated transport regulations.”

OVERSIZE: The banana multi-planter is an example of one of the many oversize vehicles that has to travel on our roads.
OVERSIZE: The banana multi-planter is an example of one of the many oversize vehicles that has to travel on our roads.

Mr Anderson said the recent survey showed many growers had machinery that was longer, higher or wider than current and potential limits.

"More than a quarter of growers surveyed had machinery over five metres high, 40% had combinations longer than 25 metres, while 67% had machinery wider than five metres,” Mr Anderson said.

"Our survey found growers were on average moving machinery 24 kilometres, usually between farms.

"Often farmers don't know when they will need to move machinery and when it rains don't want to be twiddling their thumbs waiting for a piece of paper.

"Transport can be up to a third of growers' cost of production, so it's vital that regulations across the country are streamlined, consistent and in line with modern farming practices.”

Topics:  agriculture nhvr

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