Intense talks are underway to resolve an impasse between farmers and regulators over moving wide loads and farm machinery on the state’s roads.
A well-attended meeting at Illabo revealed the large numbers of concerns and the continuing red tape farmers face over moving farm machinery.
The NSW Farmers meeting, while informative, and with a responsive Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) officer in attendance, heard many grievances including:
- Escort vehicles not able to have tools in the back, creating costly delays at breakdowns
- Boom sprays having to be floated even if they only have small amounts of liquid in them
- Farmers waiting over the promised 28 day limit for decisions on permits (sometimes taking up to double that period).
- The phasing out of police in three vehicle escorts adding to farmer costs
- Lack of understanding of the bigger machinery now being used in farm production, which are breaching limits on allowable length
- Pitiful council resources and road maps to determine if permits should be granted
- Registration requirements for front and back plates on farm machinery
- Lack of a public education campaign on wide loads.
The Land understands NSW Farmers is working intensely behind the scenes with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Transport for NSW, and councils to resolve ongoing problems before the next harvest.
The NSW Government will be urged to provide financial assistance to councils to help conduct adequate mapping of roads to ease permit delays, which is causing anger.
Martin Honner, “Mt Pleasant”, Junee, said there “had to be a lot more common sense” in the application of road rules, and there were “unrealistic delays” for permits. “Escort vehicles are being told they cannot carry tools which is ridiculous.
“When are farmers going to get a seat at the table to discuss these issues ?
“We were promised these things were going to be followed through.”