NEW legislation passed by the State Government this week ena-bles WA farmers to cross over public roads from paddock to paddock without having to stop and disassemble machinery or harvesting equipment.
After extensive consultation with key stakeholders, the State Government decided to amend the existing legislation to allow farmers to transport overwidth and overlength equipment in vari-ous combinations across roads.
In the past farmers could be prosecuted if they crossed public roads without complying to load length and width requirement, particularly at night time.
This meant lengthy delays in breaking up machinery to fit to previous requirements or face the possibility of breaking the law by crossing a road with the machi-nery intact.
The new legislation came into effect today and will apply to this year’s harvest.
WAFarmers president Trevor De Landgrafft said while there were still some minor imposts for farmers to carry out under the new legislation, it was a much more practical outcome for today’s farming practices.
“The new laws legitimise what currently happens in farming operations,” he said.
“It does take time for legislation to catch up with actualities, and while we have been pushing for these amendments for 18 months, we are pleased that the govern-ment was able to get them in place prior to this year’s harvest getting into full swing.”
Mr De Landgrafft said farming was now a 24 hour operation, particularly in the peak times of seeding and harvesting and many farmers felt vulnerable when shifting machinery at night time.
“It was quite inefficient for them to stop and unhitch machi-nery to zip across a road in a small amount of time,” he said.
“Farmers probably flouted the laws in place at times, which left them open to prosecution.
“These new laws are far more practical and while there are still some constraints in place, they are far easier to comply with.
“Lots of farmers have very wide gateways which enables them to cross a road quite quickly without having to fold up the airseeder or take off implements being towed behind the airseeder.”