Country road fix benefits all of us
THERE is nothing like a Tasmanian spring and summer to encourage more locals out on the roads to explore our lovely state.
Tasmania is also a magnet for tourists from across the country and the world keen to enjoy the splendid things that we have to offer.
Tourism, the value of the Tasmanian brand and the significant growth of the agriculture sector and our high-value produce are all contributing to a boom for the state that we should all be very proud of.
But as the popularity of our state continues to grow, so do the demands on and for infrastructure. What travellers, tourists and the general public often fail to realise is that what may be their sightseeing season is peak production season for the farming community.
Farmers do not have the capacity to shut down for the weekend or holidays and we often find ourselves working over the festive season.
Peak production necessitates more irrigation, more moving of stock and sometimes moving farm machinery. These are all bound by strict rules and regulations. While this usually goes on out of range of most of the travelling public sometimes, just sometimes, there is no avoiding it.
As farmers we ask you to be mindful of signage and conditions when venturing on to country roads. We do our very best to keep everything nicely packaged in paddocks, but to coin a phrase, farming happens. Be patient. Enjoy the drive and the views but understand that what is your holiday adventure route or shortcut is effectively our backyard.
We would always prefer to keep farm machinery off arterial routes, but sometimes that is not possible. We do our best to keep disruptions to your day to a minimum. In return we ask for your understanding and patience.
We’ve all had to learn to live with delays that come with major road projects around the state, particularly on the Midland Hwy, but ultimately understand the speed variations are in place for a reason, and the long-term gain from these infrastructure upgrades will benefit everyone.
We acknowledge that without this key infrastructure investment, growth capacity in the state will be severely impacted. However, at the TFGA we also believe that governments’ focus should also extend to the regional road network, including roads owned by local government.
Many rural roads have poor surfaces and lack sealed shoulders and vegetation management. As the public ventures further into our countryside it is important these routes get the attention they deserve.
The long-term gains for the agriculture sector and tourism, and road safety in general, will also prove to be something that we can all be proud of.