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$36 million in benefits to SA’s agriculture sector

2 March 2016

At least $36 million in benefits are estimated to have flowed to the agricultural sector in South Australia since the completion of a 90 day project to improve road transport.

Last year the agriculture, food and wine sector generated $18.2 billion in revenue, accounted for 46% of the state’s merchandise exports, and employed about 144,000 people or one in five working South Australians.

In most regional areas road transport is the only means of delivering goods to market.

The project has addressed ongoing limitations and restrictions to the agriculture, food and wine industries and identified solutions such as regulatory changes or capital works.

The introduction of quad road trains between Port Augusta and the Northern Territory border was one key initiative.

Allowing quad road trains alone is boosting the productivity of livestock transport in the north of the state by around 8 per cent. 

More broadly an average increase in transport productivity of 30 percent has been achieved with the implementation of the project recommendations so far.

The initiatives are also making life safer for heavy vehicles operators by reducing the double handling of stock and produce, and that in turn makes regional roads safer for all.

Among the other reforms is a funding program to increase awareness among farmers of the code of practice for moving of oversized and over-mass machinery on public roads.

Tri-axle dollies have also been allowed for use in road train combinations and a primary production work diary exemption was introduced.

Primary Producers SA Chair Rob Kerin said the project had helped improve productivity for the state’s farmers.

"What is significant here is that we are seeing benefits being realised for the transport sector which are resulting in flow-on benefits for primary producers right across the state," he said.

SA Livestock and Rural Transporters Association President David Smith also welcomed the achievements, particularly the quad road train initiative.

"One of the main benefits is saving time through not needing to cross-load livestock into B-doubles or breaking up a triple road train into individual single semi-trailers," Mr Smith said.

"It’s a great step forward and a massive improvement in driver welfare.

"Likewise, the introduction of tri-axle dollies means a significant increase in the stability of road trains which means these vehicles are much safer on our roads."

The project was a collaboration between the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA, Primary Producers SA and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.

The list of achievements are available here: www.pir.sa.gov.au/roadtransport