Farmers dirty over mud rules

FARMERS have been left feeling dirty after South Gippsland Shire Council announced it may look to fine drivers whose tractors and other vehicles leave mud on the roads.

Council claimed farmers’ muddy vehicles were contributing to unsafe roads in the region and said it will look to find a cleaner solution with everyone working together.

In a press release, council claimed it would work with farmers in taking preventative steps “to avoid losses to both their farm and public”.

“This will reduce the need for any litter abatement notices, fines or charges for the cost of clean-up and damages,” the council statement said.

South Gippsland Shire Council’s manager operations Fred Huitema said necessary measures would be taken to make roads safer for all residents and visitors.

“Council appreciates the hard work farmers do for our community, which is why it is important for us to work with them to find solutions to reduce the amount of mud on our roads,” he said.

“We are hoping these measures will ensure our roads are safer for the community to utilise.”

Allen Van Kuyk previously received a litter abatement notice from South Gippsland Shire Council for letting his cattle cross Cassons Road. Attached was a warning of a hefty $3000 fine should he continue to do so.  The Agnes resident is concerned similar fines could apply in this situation.

“At any stage if I do not meet their expectations they could fine me,” he said.

“We try to manage it as best as we can, but if the shire decides they want to fine us, they’ll catch us sooner or later. It is something that can affect so many people. A $3000 fine to anybody is substantial.”

Mr Van Kuyk said he does all he can to ensure his cattle and tractors do not leave mud on Cassons Road, however it can be almost impossible given muddy conditions on his property.

“It is totally impractical to expect us to clean a tractor every time we go in and out of a paddock,” he said.

“They have got have to a little bit of common sense on what they want us to do and it is practically buck for their poor maintenance and it is partially fundraising.

“We are an easy target for them, but what they have proposed is not workable and there is no common sense to it.”

Many locals expressed their concerns on The Star’s Facebook page.

“It is a bit harsh considering our roads are absolutely terrible around our farm and they only fix it every so often,”

Toora’s Jess Thorne commented.

“How can we stop our utes from getting muddy tyres on council roads? It is not like there’s a car wash in every town either.”

Council said farmers can take such measures as constructing proper driveways for access into paddocks and control.

“Mud and topsoil in drains and on roads can affect road safety, damage the environment and have a financial impact on both the community and farmers. In recent years the issue has become a growing concern in South Gippsland,” the council statement said.

Not happy: Agnes dairy farmer Allen Van Kuyk is one of many farmers unimpressed with South Gippsland Shire Council’s consideration of penalties for farmers leaving mud on roads from tractor tyres and from cattle crossing.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24017

Posted by on Feb 13 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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