News

State Government finding solutions to agricultural transport issues

Tuesday 31 March 2015
Upgraded access to the Jamestown saleyards is one of the first reforms to emerge from the recently completed A Modern Transport System for Agriculture: A New Partnership Approach project.

Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister, Leon Bignell said the upgraded access for B-double and road trains to the saleyards, identified as a key issue during the project, will also avoid the need for these vehicles to pass through the centre of Jamestown either on their way further north or to the saleyards.

“It has been identified that for an investment of under $100,000 on minor roadworks on the northern end of OD5 Road, access for B-doubles and road trains could be delivered to the saleyards from RM Williams Way,” Mr Bignell said.

“There is also the opportunity, for a relatively small investment, to improve the southern end of OD5 Road and its junction with Cockburn Road. This would provide access for B-doubles wishing to access the saleyards from the east.”

The project has identified a number of reform initiatives across the State, aimed at ensuring more efficient and less costly transport for primary producers. The other initiatives, which are currently being investigated include:

  • Approval of access for BAB quads road train access to the 53.5-metre road train network between the Northern Territory border and Port Augusta.
  • Extending the maximum permitted length of a road train prime mover when operating as a semitrailer from 19 to 20 metres.
  • Amending the existing SA tri-axle dolly policy to be nationally consistent.

Mr Bignell said the project emerged from a need for a more collaborative approach to agricultural road transport.

“Primary industries are vital to the State’s economy, and to remain globally competitive, our producers must be able to seize opportunities to increase productivity and decrease costs involved,” he said.

“Agribusiness generates about $19.4 billion in revenue annually and accounts for almost half of South Australia’s total merchandise exports.

“This project has generated many wonderful ideas supporting the Government’s economic priority of premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world. Some of these, at the stroke of a pen, can be implemented to help improve the competitiveness of our primary industry producers.”

Regional development Minister Geoff Brock said an important part of the project was the online survey conducted in November and December last year which clearly identified areas of concern in the regions.

“Ninety per cent of the issues raised were from regional and rural South Australia,” he said.

“I welcome their valuable feedback and any initiatives that will result in driving economic development in our regions.”

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the regulatory reforms will reduce costs for operator, farmers and other businesses.

“We have been reviewing each issue raised about the movement of agricultural machinery on public roads to determine what opportunities may exist for improving the regulations,” he said.

“Work on some of the reform initiatives identified through this project is already well underway, including discussions with the National Heavy vehicle Regulator.

“DPTI will be establishing a team dedicated to addressing these regulatory issues over the next 12 months.”

Primary Producers SA Chairperson Rob Kerin said primary producers welcomed the opportunity to have their say on the topic of road transport.

“Progressing this feedback into actions has provided a great opportunity for industry and government to work together to create efficiencies and real solutions that will benefit not just the agriculture industry, but the entire State,” he said.

A Project Steering Group will be set up to oversee the scoping and implementation of the initiatives, with quarterly meetings to occur during the 2015-16 year.

To download a copy of the A Modern Transport System for Agriculture: A New Partnership Approach report visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/agtransport 

Ministers Bignell, Brock and Mullighan will be in Burra on Tuesday at 10:30am to announce this
project.

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