Home' TAS Country : February 20, 2015 Contents V1 - TSCE01Z01MA
TASMANIAN COUNTRY, Friday, February 20, 2015 09
drive for extra
I WAS musing this week on
the plight Patties Foods found
itself in after an outbreak of
hepatitis A was blamed on con-
tamination of fruit and berries
that it imports.
The food was packaged in
China and may have also in-
volved fruit from Chile.
I assume a thorough inves-
tigation will determine how it
occurred and what steps are in
place in China to eliminate the
risk of food being contami-
nated, no matter its desti-
That's what we would do in
Australia. You would probably
conclude that this was unlikely
to occur often in Australia,
given the degree of regulation
of our primary industries.
I am not saying it couldn't
occur here, but governments
tend to leave no stone un-
turned when it comes to keep-
ing primary producers on the
straight and narrow.
And talking about keeping
farmers on the straight and
narrow, I believe 99 out of 100
Australians will never have
heard of the National Heavy
It sounds a bit like Thomas
the Tank Engine's Fat Con-
troller. The role of office of the
NHVR is to ensure that when
people drive vehicles of more
than 4.5 tonnes, they do not
become a danger to the com-
munity as well as to them-
In 2009 the Council of Aus-
tralian Governments agreed to
establish a single national sys-
tem of laws for heavy vehicles.
One of the prime considera-
tions was driver fatigue and the
propensity for accidents.
It made sense for a uniform
law to apply to Australia's
highways. That involved tedi-
ous work by drivers maintain-
ing diaries of their every move
behind the wheel. That in-
cluded primary producers who
operate vehicles of that size.
have been seeking relief from
the paperwork, given most of
us are not out there in the mid-
dle of the night driving thou-
sands of kilometres, fighting
the clock, trying to stay awake.
The good news is that from
March 30 Tasmanian primary
producers will not be required
to keep and record infor-
mation in a National Driver
Work Diary if they work with-
in a 160km radius of their base.
The exemption applies to
farming and forestry.
Primary producers will have
to abide by all the other regula-
tions. They must not drive
while fatigued and must com-
ply with work and rest require-
ments. They also have to
record details of the driver as
well as work and rest times.
This is far less onerous than
the continuous diary required
until March 30.
"Industry has asked us for
consistent work diary practices
and less paperwork and we're
delivering," Sal Petroccitto, the
NHVR chief executive, said.
"This exemption reduces
the paperwork burden in the
cab and allows drivers to better
focus on the task at hand."
Most other states have the
same exemption, although it is
still being reviewed in Victoria.
Tasmania is one of the last to
have this exemption for pri-
It's not perfect; many farm-
ers complain, but it is a win of
I wonder if China has a Fat
Wayne Johnston is president of
the Tasmanian Farmers and
THE world's oldest working tractor, one of only
three made in England in 1897, will be a
drawcard as enthusiasts head for the national
historical machinery rally at Carrick next
The vintage machinery movement is a
worldwide phenomenon and the National
Historical Machinery Association, representing
10,000 Australian members, is running its
biennial rally from February 27-28 at Quercus
Park. Tasmania last hosted the rally in 2001.
The Hornsby-Akroyd tractor from 1897 was
with one family for more than 70 years before
being bought by Latrobe engine restorers Eric
and Coral Howe in 2008.
Mr Howe said the tractor had broken down
in 1920 and was never repaired until he took
The Hornsby-Akroyd machine uses the hot-
bulb ignition system, which at the time was a
major step forward from steam engines.
Tasmanian rally committee member Ted
Domeney said the rule of thumb for displays to
be called vintage was if they are still in regular
use after their 30th anniversary.
Machinery may be restored to a high level
and working, or rebuilt internally but displayed
in their "working clothes", often rusted and dirty.
The Carrick rally will be followed next month
by another vintage-machinery event in
Steamfest, which will be held at Sheffield on
CLASSIC: The Hornsby-Akroyd tractor uses the revolutionary hot-bulb ignition system.
Don't miss slice of history
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