Seed­ing, har­vest cur­few re­view

Narrogin Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Daryna Zad­virna

Cur­fews re­strict­ing the move­ment of heavy ve­hi­cles dur­ing seed­ing and har­vest­ing pe­ri­ods are un­der re­view by Main Roads.

Farm­ers have wel­comed a com­mit­tent to re­vise the cur­fews, which were orig­i­nally im­posed in the in­ter­ests of road safety around the Easter and Christ­mas breaks.

Nar­ro­gin’s Ge­off Perkins said it was vi­tal for farm­ers to be able to move ma­chin­ery at that time of year.

“It’s the two busiest times for the farming com­mu­nity,” he said.

Farm­ers have wel­comed Main Roads’ com­mit­ment to re­vis­ing pub­lic hol­i­day cur­fews around the move­ment of heavy agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cles.

Dur­ing a brief­ing with The Na­tion­als WA, Main Roads agreed to re­vise the cur­few sys­tem to make it more ap­pro­pri­ate for farm­ers, and to pro­vide an up­date by the end of this month.

Ge­off Perkins, who owns and runs a farm ma­chin­ery cen­tre in Nar­ro­gin, said the cur­fews greatly af­fected his cus­tomers.

“Con­sid­er­ing it’s the two busiest times for the farming com­mu­nity, it’s vi­tal to them that we are able to move the ma­chin­ery,” he said.

Katan­ning’s Bu­rando Hill sales man­ager Michael Kowald said his clients needed ma­chin­ery to work and har­vest dur­ing those pe­ri­ods.

“The cur­fews do make things a bit harder for us and them to get what we need to do done, so it would be good to be able to move around more freely,” he said.

Na­tion­als WA Agri­cul­tural spokesman Colin de Grussa said there had been angst among mem­bers of the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity when they be­came aware of the pub­lic hol­i­day cur­fews.

“These cur­fews in­clude a six­day move­ment ban around Easter and an 11-day move­ment ban in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary for heavy agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cles, de­spite the fact that these are cru­cial times for seed­ing and har­vest ac­tiv­i­ties in much of the State,” he said.

Mr de Grussa said the Easter cur­few was par­tic­u­larly re­stric­tive, ban­ning heavy agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery move­ment on all roads in WA.

“This means a farmer us­ing a mi­nor lo­cal road, 100km off the high­way and to­tally re­moved from any in­crease in tourism traf­fic, would be break­ing the law and void­ing their in­surance if they wanted to move ma­chin­ery a short dis­tance be­tween farms or pad­docks,” he said.

Mem­ber for Roe Peter Run­dle said Main Roads also in­tended to im­ple­ment an ad­di­tional no­tice for agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cle move­ment in the near fu­ture.

“It’s ex­pected to be put into place by the end of Oc­to­ber, which will al­low a greater range of heavy agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cle move­ments with­out the need for a per­mit,” he said.

A spokesman said while Main Roads was re­view­ing the cur­fews, they were im­posed for safety.

“The cur­few pe­ri­ods recog­nise the in­creased vol­umes of tourist traf­fic trav­el­ling on un­fa­mil­iar roads across the State and the over­all in­crease in risk to pub­lic safety on roads dur­ing these busier pe­ri­ods,” the spokesman said.

Roe MP Peter Run­dle and Michael Kowald from Bu­rando Hill.

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