For decades, moving agricultural heavy vehicles has been an administrative nightmare – saddling farmers with piles of unnecessary paperwork.
This week that all changed with the Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack announcing positive changes to the regulations.
The National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice, while maintaining safety standards, will harmonise state-based notices into a single national notice and update standards taking the pressure of unnecessary paperwork away from farmers.
The new notice also increases mass and dimensions exemptions meaning many farmers will no longer need to apply for permits; the number of designated agricultural zones will be reduced and border movements will be simplified.
It’s about instilling common sense and reducing red tape for farmers while maintaining the safety standards.
National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) General Manager of Trade & Economics Dr Pru Gordon.
“The overall outcome of the notice will be to help farmers increase the efficiency of their everyday farm operations.”
Mr McCormack, along with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the NFF, urged local councils to get on board with the shake-up for the movement of agricultural machinery, calling it a “game-changer for the nation’s farm businesses”.
“Most heavy agricultural equipment, such as harvesters, tractors and seeders, are moved on local government-controlled roads and the NHVR is working with 430 local councils and road managers to finalise the Notice,” Mr McCormack said.
Dr Gordon said moving heavy agricultural equipment on public roads had become too complicated and and have been running under an outdated system.
“Local governments know the roads better than anyone and are keenly aware of the red tape tying the hands of farmers who need to move large agricultural vehicles.
“We need to reduce the red tape and let the farmers get on with growing food and fibre without the burden of nonsensical regulation .”