Primary producers and road transport operators have received estimated industry benefits of at least $80 million from the 90 day Improving Road Transport for the Agriculture Industry project.
The benefit figure has more than doubled from the original estimate of $36 million in 2016 and is expected to further rise as route extensions and last mile access issues are addressed across the State.
Following on from the success and momentum of the first project, a second survey was undertaken last year to identify any remaining issues.
The survey provided an opportunity for those that were not engaged in the first project, including the forestry, dairy, fresh produce, fisheries and aquaculture sectors, to have their say.
Almost 500 people responded to the survey, identifying 90 issues related to road transport issues in the agriculture industry.
The top 3 survey outcomes were:
1. Wattle Range Council and District Council of Grant now allow PBS Level 2B access (on a permit basis) to a significant portion of their road networks, including permit based approval along Casterton Road to Tower Road near Penola – providing greater access for High Productivity Vehicles and benefits for the forestry industry.
2. Outback tracks freight network in the north of the state has been significantly expanded for 53.5m triple road trains, allowing access to most major tracks.
3. Missing links in the Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV) network on multiple routes have been addressed, including Rowney Road (near Mundulla), Billiatt Road (Lameroo to Alawoona) and Lincoln Highway.
Following the project’s success, South Australia is now providing support for cross-border and national issues related to agricultural transport on behalf of the Agriculture Senior Officials Committee (AGSOC) road transport group.
The 90 day Improving Road Transport project is a partnership between Primary Producers SA, Primary Industries and Regions SA and the Department of Transport, Planning and Infrastructure.
Key highlights include:
65 projects have been completed.
7200 km of new freight routes have been added to the Restricted Access Vehicle network, including 3760 km of Outback Track access.
Two thirds of the completed the second survey respondents were new
Night movement for agricultural machinery (up to four metres wide).
Minor access issues and maintenance issues raised in the second survey are being investigated with local councils.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is currently working with state transport agencies on the national harmonisation notice for the movement of agricultural machinery.
The survey results are available at www.pir.sa.gov.au/agtransport
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell
Our primary producers are big winners from this project with these reforms having a positive impact on their day-to-day work, and saving them time and money.
Many of the issues raised from the second survey have already been completed as a result of the first survey, highlighting the success of the first project in addressing road transport and agricultural machinery issues.
As a State Government we’re working hard to create jobs and reduce the cost of living for all South Australians, so it’s great to see more than $80 million going back into the agriculture and road transport industry as a result of this project.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock
The reforms from this project have had a great impact on regional South Australia, as road transport is often the only means of delivering goods in most regional areas.
The second survey aimed to identify any remaining issues for transport operators and primary producers, and it’s done just that.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan
This project has made transporting goods much safer and also more efficient and that means valuable savings for farmers and also freight and transport operators.
Enabling larger vehicle combinations, in particular the road train combinations, has also meant fewer freight movements on our roads and that has also helped to cut the environmental impact of these transport operations.
Quotes attributable to Chair Primary Producers SA Rob Kerin
This project shows what government and industry can achieve when we work together and is a great example of such collaboration.
The outcomes of this project have seen positive changes and reforms across the state – including agricultural machinery, road train combinations, and intersection and junction upgrades – which primary producers have clearly benefited from.