Queensland grain growers’ frustration with the process for moving oversized agricultural machinery and the need for more rail infrastructure investment are among the hot topics at the AgForce Grains Board’s meeting in Brisbane this week.
AgForce Grains President Wayne Newton says transport made up more than a third of growers’ cost of production so it was important growers could get their product to port as efficiently as possible, and that rules for the movement of oversized machinery were realistic.
“The regulations for moving agricultural machinery must be reviewed urgently, as the permit process is confusing, time consuming and it can be impossible to find the right information or people to assist.”
“Only last week the Productivity Commission recommended farmers be given greater flexibility by issuing permits for longer periods of time and for multiple journeys, as well as removing the need for permits altogether where possible.”
Mr newton says while safety is paramount, there has to be a workable process with commonsense 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 highway.”
Mr Newton says the AgForce Grains Board also urged the Queensland Government to invest $11 million towards a proposed $52 million rail freight infrastructure project that could create hundreds of jobs, take 20,000 trucks off regional roads and boost Queensland’s export earnings.
“Queensland growers already face higher supply chain costs than growers in other states, so we need a positive response from the State Government as soon as possible so we aren’t left behind.”