Less red tape for farmers

Farmers could soon benefit from a reduction in red tape that would improve the ease of moving heavy agricultural machinery.

The federal government has proposed a new, draft 'National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Notice' that would standardise legislation for transporting large machinery, such as harvesters, seeders and tractors on public roads, across the states.

Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Nationals' candidate for Eden Monaro Sophie Wade and NSW Farmers Yass Branch president Ed Storey.

Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Nationals' candidate for Eden Monaro Sophie Wade and NSW Farmers Yass Branch president Ed Storey.

The draft notice would also exempt vehicles under a certain size and dimension from requiring a permit.

President of the NSW Farmers Yass Branch, Ed Storey, said it was important that machinery could be moved around to allow the farmer to work.

Currently, farmers must apply to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to move equipment on public roads.

The cost of a permit is $73 and approval can take up to 28 days, with the NHVR required to seek approval from councils for local roads and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) for state and federal roads. The legislation for the permits is also different in every state.

The draft notice would not only save farmers time and money but also benefit farmers with properties on the border, an NHVR spokesperson said.

The new legislation has been approved by the NSW government and now requires the approval of the state's approximately 430 road managers.

During the announcement of the draft notice in Yass on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the notice needed councils' support to increase productivity for farmers.

“Most heavy agricultural equipment, such as harvesters, tractors and seeders, are moved on local government-controlled roads and the NHVR is working with local councils and road managers to finalise the notice,” Mr McCormack said.

Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport, Scott Buchholz, said moving agricultural equipment on public roads had become too complicated; “Some of the existing standards date back to almost 40 years ago."

The consultations with road managers will be held from March 8 to April 5, 2019.