The Nationals WA Member for the Agricultural Region and spokesperson for Road Safety Hon Martin Aldridge MLC has used today’s National Agriculture Day to remind those using country roads this holiday season to look out slow down and take care and share the road with large agricultural vehicles.
Mr Aldridge said the National Farmers’ Federations’ (NFF) ‘Common Roads, Common Sense’ campaign is being funded by $250,000 from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program, with support from the Federal Liberal and Nationals’ Government.
“With road safety at the forefront of my mind this coming holiday and harvest season, I welcome this campaign,” Mr Aldridge said.
“Western Australia’s (WA) agriculture and food sector is a world-class producer of high-quality, safe agriculture, food and fibre products, vital to our state’s economy and to feeding the Western Australian community and people in our target export markets.”
Mr Aldridge said Western Australia is the nation’s largest grain-producing region, and is a significant producer of Australia’s meat and livestock, dairy, wool, horticulture and honey products.
“WA produces on average 13 million tonnes of grains (cereals, oilseeds and pulses) each year, just under 15 million sheep located primarily in the agricultural region, producing high quality meat and wool for world markets and two million head of beef cattle, approximately half are located in the south west and the remainder in the north,” he said.
“Agricultural land in Western Australia occupies 1,064,736 square kilometres, or around 42 per cent of the State – with that in mind, its safe to say much of the State is busy this time of year, which creates an increase of vehicle movement in the region.”
Mr Aldridge encouraged people travelling throughout regional WA to pause today and reflect on the contribution of farmers in Australia and drive safe when passing these vehicles.
“Large machinery is critical to keeping farmers moving with 93 per cent of Australia’s food supply grown on Aussie soil,” Mr Aldridge said.
“I encourage road users to work as a team, and remember these producers and growers punch above their weight in so many ways – whether its beef producers in the far north, vegetable producers in the Mid West, grain producers in the Wheatbelt or sheep producers in the Great Southern; they ensure the West Australian community enjoys food that is safe, affordable and nutritious, and can wear some of the world’s most loved natural fibres.
“Today we stop and remember how tough, resilient and innovative these regional people are. They continue to find new ways to expand their business and bring prosperity to our communities.”
The Nationals WA Member for the Agricultural Region and spokesperson for Road Safety Hon Martin Aldridge MLC with Nicole Keliher of Wandering Clover Fed Beef, at the Farmer on Your Plate event.