Permits & approvals


Wide vehicle road access

UPDATED 2 September, 2016

A sustained CANEGROWERS campaign has secured road access for growers needing to move wide agricultural vehicles.

A five-year notice has been gazetted giving access to nearly all roads in Zone 1 north of Gympie for agricultural vehicles and combinations between 3.5m and 4.0m in width.

The notice is called 'Queensland Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle (Coastal Zone 1) Dimension Exemption Notice 2016' and it allows for:

  • Access to critical roads including the Bruce Highway with travel of no more than 5km in a single trip with an agricultural pilot and portable roadside signage,
  • Access to major and minor roads with two agricultural pilots OR one agricultural pilot and roadside signage, and
  • The ability to directly cross all roads without a pilot up to 5.0m width.

CANEGROWERS negotiated with the Queensland Police and Department of Transport and Main Roads to reach agreement for the notice which avoids the requirement for growers to apply for individual permits.

Growers are urged to comply with all of the conditions of the notice and use appropriate signage and pilots when moving wide agricultural vehicles.

Failure to do so could jeopardise the future of such an arrangement and put the grower in a position of liability should there be an accident.

  • Click here to download the 'Queensland Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle (Coastal Zone 1) Dimension Exemption Notice 2016'
  • Click here to download the notice summary

Growers and contractors should make sure they are familiar with and comply with the conditions in the notice if traveling or crossing roads with large machinery.

CANEGROWERS has made a member’s only deal with Artcraft in Townsville for signs.

Your CANEGROWERS membership number must be provided to get the special prices listed here. The company can be contacted on 4774 5255 or by email at tnvsales@artcraft.com.au

 


 

Cane Firing

A guide to the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 for the sugarcane industry.

To download the guidelines, diagrams & sample letters click here. (Word document)


Cane land adjoining cane land > Burning cane in preparation for harvest continues to be an integral and essential part of farming operations for the majority of cane growers.Under the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990, special provisions apply to the burning of sugarcane, tops and trash in those situations where a grower's Cane Production Area (CPA) is bordered on every side by other cane land.  Examples of the application of the special provisions of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) Commissioner's Notification for burning sugarcane, tops or trash are shown in Diagram 1. 

The areas numbered A1 to A6 refer to CPAs for six growers.  Growers on CPAs A5 or A6 may light preharvest burns at the hours laid down in the local Cane Supply Agreement without a permit to burn, as they adjoin other CPA lands A1 to A8.  The grower on CPA A1 may light preharvest burns without a permit because this grower does not “adjoin” non-cane land in the terms of the Act because this grower’s CPA A1 is separated from N1 non-cane land by a 10 metre firebreak cleared of vegetation and other flammable material.  Growers on CPAs A2, A3, A4 and A8 may not light preharvest burns without a permit from the Fire Warden because these blocks adjoin non-cane land N2.  The grower on CPA A7 must obtain a seasonal permit from the local Fire Warden because this CPA adjoins non-cane land N1.  The Commissioner’s special provisions apply only to sugarcane, tops or trash and therefore growers may not carry out any burning off operations for the clearing of grass on headlands or removing rat harbourages or for any other purpose without a permit from the Fire Warden. The QFRS Commissioner's Notification which reflects these special provisions permits growers to light fires for the purpose of burning sugarcane, tops or trash provided that

  • no burning takes place between 10 am and 2 pm;
  • adequate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of fire;
  • the burning takes place in accordance with recognised industry practice;
  • where a fire is lit for the purpose of burning tops or trash, such tops or trash are raked at least 10 metres from any headland, standing cane or other flammable material;
  • burning takes place within those regulated times set by the local Cane Supply Agreement (subject to no burning between 10 am and 2 pm);
  • where a local Cane Supply Agreement does not regulate times when burning may be carried out, then such burning must take place at a time when sugarcane, tops or trash are normally burnt in the local area (again subject to no burning between 10 am and 2 pm).

Cane land adjoining non-cane land > Where a grower’s CPA adjoins a neighbour's property which is non-cane land then the grower, wishing to burn sugarcane, tops or trash, must obtain a seasonal permit to burn from the local Fire Warden. The grower need only make a single application to cover the whole season. Growers have responded positively to the seasonal permit arrangement.

Notification to neighbours > A requirement for all fire permit applications is that the grower must notify all adjoining neighbours whose lands are non-cane land, either verbally or in writing, at the time when applying to the local Fire Warden for the fire permit whether it be a seasonal or one-off permit to burn.  Attachment 1 is an example letter to help growers with notification requirements when applying for the permit.  Also, before actually burning cane, tops or trash the grower must notify the neighbour whose land immediately adjoins the block of cane or the block upon which tops or trash are to be burnt. This notice can be verbal with the neighbour being advised at least two hours before burning takes place or a minimum of 12 hours notice where the neighbour is advised in writing by the grower. An example letter to help growers with notification requirements before burning takes place is included at Attachment 2. Example situations relative to the application of the seasonal permit requirements for burning sugarcane, tops or trash are shown in Diagram 2.  The seasonal permit system was introduced in 1993 for cane growers CPAs which adjoin neighbours non-cane land not assigned for cane growing. Continuation of seasonal permits depends upon growers' total support and compliance with all aspects of the permit requirements. Growers have a responsibility to ensure the prescribed burning is strategic, timely, appropriate and correctly applied in accordance with legislative and industry standards. 

Smoke management > Smoke from cane fires and particularly tops and trash fires, needs to be managed carefully in order to address community concerns such as nuisance to neighbours, perceived health hazards, the potential for reduced visibility on roadways which might create a safety hazard and perceived environmental greenhouse effects.  Note: When a fire is lit for the purpose of burning tops or trash, such tops or trash must be raked at least 10 metres from any headland, standing cane or other flammable material.

Offence & general penalty > Failure to comply with any provisions of the Fire and Rescue Service Act is an offence. Penalty provisions including fines and/or imprisonment are prescribed under the Act.  Non-observance of the legislative provisions is likely to result in prosecution and adversely impact upon the protection afforded to the cane grower authorised to light the fire.

Permit not required > A permit to burn cane, tops or trash does NOT have to be obtained where a cane grower's CPA land is separated from the neighbour's non-cane land by a roadway, watercourse or fire break which is at least 10 metres wide and which is clear of vegetation and flammable material.  Diagrams 3 and 4 depict example situations where permits are not required to light an authorised fire to burn cane tops and trash.

 


 

Mangrove removal

 

The new approval process mangrove removal and low-impact fisheries developments is now available through the self-assessment processes introduced by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries this month.

Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Henry Palaszczuk said the new self-assessable codes could be used for projects that would have a minor impact on the environment and community. 

The two self-assessable codes that canegrowers mostly will use are: 

  1. maintenance works on existing lawful structures (other than powerlines and on-farm drains) in a declared Fish    Habitat Area or involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants
  2. on-farm drain maintenance works involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants

Cane growers have been undertaking these works under the previous agreement with the Q DPI&F. Now cane growers will use a self-assessment process against the relevant code. This code has the same requirements as the previous arrangements with DPI&F.

"Under the self-assessment process, if your project complies with the rules and requirements set out by the DPI&F codes, you can proceed with the project without further approvals from DPI&F," Mr Palaszczuk said.

"However, if your project does not comply with the code you will need to make an application through the normal DPI&F development assessment and approval processes."

Self-assessment codes have been prepared for fisheries developments with low ecological impact including:

  • low impact aquaculture
  • dead marine-wood collection from unallocated State land for trade or commerce
  • maintenance works on existing lawful structures (other than powerlines and on-farm drains) in a declared Fish Habitat Area or involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants
  • on-farm drain maintenance works involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants
  • maintenance works on powerlines and associated infrastructure in a declared Fish Habitat Area or involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants
  • works for educational, research or monitoring purposes outside declared Fish Habitat Areas
  • minor waterway barrier works on low order inland waterways
  • temporary single waterway barriers works in freshwater.  

The new codes are part of amendments, which have been made to the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA). 

In addition to these eight codes, the amendments have also allowed for pest control activities such as mosquito control to be carried out in declared Fish Habitat Areas without receiving a Fisheries Act authority so long as the procedure complies with the Fisheries Code of Practice.

The amendments have also allowed for the fee structure associated with development approvals and resource allocation to be simplified. Annual fees have been abolished. More information on the IPA amendments is available from the Fishweb site at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb or by phoning the DPI&F Call Centre on 13 25 23. 

 


Ammonium Nitrate Control Guide

These Notes are for guidance only. They represent a brief summary of existing knowledge at the time of their preparation, and are not complete. They are provided as general information only and do not take into account your particular circumstances.

Up to date and more detailed information should be sought from the relevant State authority.

Summary

Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate, in particular Calcium Ammonium Nitrate, will result in more rigorous control of these fertilizers in terms of purchase, transparent and storage. Below is a guidance note produced by Incitec Pivot outlining the controls required by farmers over the next 6 months to meet the new government requirements.

This issue has been brought about by the use of ammonium nitrate as explosive and threat to national security.

SSAN Storage and Transport Notes

Legislation is to be enacted over the coming months controlling the sale and use of security sensitive ammonium nitrate based fertilisers. The date of commencement will vary from state to state, but all are expected to have the licensing system in place by autumn 2005. The legislation will ensure that only people with a legitimate need will be permitted to purchase and use these products. They will also ensure persons of security concern can not purchase security sensitive fertilisers, and that they are stored, handled and transported safely and securely.

These Notes are for guidance only. They represent a brief summary of existing knowledge at the time of their preparation, and are not complete. They are provided as general information only and do not take into account your particular circumstances. Up to date and more detailed information should be sought from the relevant State authority.

What is SSAN?

SSAN stands for Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate.

Any product that contains more than 45% ammonium nitrate, excluding solutions, is classified as SSAN. Class 1 explosives are also excluded, as they are already regulated by other legislation.

Which Incitec Pivot Products are classified as SSAN?

Cal-Am, which contains approximately 80% ammonium nitrate, is an SSAN product. So too are a number of blends that contain either Nitram or Cal-Am. These are:

Nitram Blends Cal-Am Blends
Accelerator Nitram 160 Cal-Am 135
Aftergraze Nitram 50/50 Cal-Am 140
Aftermow Nitram 50/50(S) Cal-Am 150
Anchor Plus Nitram 700 Cal-Am 50/50
Bumpabunch Nitram Hi-N Ratooner Cal-Am K(S)
Greengraze Nitram Hi-P Ratooner Cal-Am Nitra K
Hortram K, Nitram K Cal-Am Nitra King
Hortram K (Fe), Nitram K(S) Green
Nitram 135, Nitram Ratooner Green 2
Nitram 140, Nitram SOP Green 3
Nitram 140 (S) Prodress Green 4
Nitram 150 Speed Green 5
Nitrogreen M 20
Nitrogreen M 20(S)
Nitrogreen M 35
Nitrogreen M 40/td>
Nitrogreen M 40(S)K
Nitrogreen M 50
Nitrogreen M 50/50
Nitrogreen M K(S)

N-Sure (Ammonium Sulfate Nitrate) in not an SSAN product, as it contains less than the critical figure of 45% ammonium nitrate.

EASY N (UAN) is not a SSAN product as it is a solution.

Are other solid fertilisers likely to be subject to similar security controls?

A small number of other fertilisers may be considered for tighter government control.

However, there are unlikely to be any decisions made for some time on which fertilisers, if any, need to be controlled and if so, whether they should be subject to the same degree of control as SSAN products. In due course the Commonwealth and state and territory governments will undertake consultation with industry groups and stakeholders in relation to these other fertilisers.

Will there be a minimum quantity below which the legislation will not apply?

No. The proposed regulations will apply to SSAN in any quantity.

Who needs to be licensed to handle SSAN?

Any person who is responsible for, or involved in the unsupervised transport, storage, handling or application of SSAN must be licensed.

These people will need to be authorised under licence to have unsupervised access to SSAN and will require a:

  • police check, and a
  • motivated violence (PMV) check.

If businesses arrange their storage and handling procedures so that only one or two people have unsupervised access to SSAN, then only these people will need to undertake the above checking to become ‘authorised’. Other workers requiring access to SSAN can be under the supervision of these authorised persons and will not require checks. SSAN must not be supplied to anyone who is not licensed to receive it.

What is a Security Plan?

SSAN must be kept secure from:

  • theft,
  • unexplained loss,
  • sabotage,
  • unauthorised access.

To obtain a licence to transport or store SSAN, a security plan must be submitted to the regulatory authority for approval. The licence to store may also authorise the purchase and sale of SSAN, or use, depending on the nature of the business.

A security risk assessment is a necessary preamble to developing a security plan. This assessment will describe existing security measures and examine the level and type of security risks to your particular business. You should consider whether current security arrangements leave the SSAN vulnerable to theft or sabotage, and consider security improvements appropriate to manage the assessed risk.

The Security Plan will provide information to the regulatory authority about how security requirements will be met. It will have three main elements:

  • personnel management;
  • site security; and
  • procedures.

What are the Minimum Security Requirements for Storage of SSAN?

These will vary with the location and risk. As a guide, minimal requirements are:

  • SSAN must be stored in a locked facility/container or be under constant surveillance;
  • Bulk Bags or Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) may be stored in the open provided that:

The IBCs are sealed so that theft of product is easily detectable; and - A security fence is in place that as a minimum meets the Australian Standard AS 1725.

The chain wire fence must be at least 2.45 metres high, be galvanised or plastic coated with both selvedges twisted and barbed, and capped with three rows of barbed wire at 150mm spacings. IBCs should not be stored within 3 metres of the fence.

  • There must be procedures for controlling access to the storage place;
  • There must be procedures for checking and authorising persons with unsupervised access to SSAN, including:
    • designating a responsible person to maintain the security plan,
    • training of staff on the security plan procedures,
    • ensuring people with unsupervised access to SSAN have had police and security checks;
  • Record keeping to reconcile incoming and outgoing quantities of SSAN and to ensure that SSAN is obtained from a licensed person and removed by an authorised person; and
  • Procedures for reporting to authorities any loss, theft, attempted theft or any other security incident involving SSAN.

What are the Minimum Security Requirements for Transport of SSAN?

The minimum security requirements for transport of SSAN are:

  • Designating a responsible person to maintain the security plan. In the case of a company or other entity, training, audits and ongoing maintenance of the plan must be confirmed regularly by the owners and senior officers;
  • Procedures for checking and authorising drivers;
  • Ensuring that SSAN is secure for the duration of the entire journey. As a minimum, SSAN must be transported in a locked or sealed container or vessel or be under constant surveillance by an authorised driver or crew member.
  • The carrier must ensure that any site used for loading or temporarily storing SSAN during the loading or transport process is secure. A secure location is one that is identified in the Security Plan and includes an area that has, as a minimum, a security fence around it, lockable gates and access controls.
  • Procedures for reporting to authorities any loss, theft, attempted theft or any other security incident involving SSAN.

When will the legislation take effect?

The States have either enacted or are presently planning to enact the necessary legislation, and will implement it over the coming months. Once this is done, applicants will be able to apply for a license.

There will be a transition period for people to obtain a licence and introduce the necessary security measures. At the end of this transition period, which is likely to be June 2005 in most states, the legislation will be strictly applied. In short no licence, no supply. As it may take several months for the necessary approvals and security checks, license applications should be made sooner rather than later.

What interim security measures should be taken?

SSAN products should be stored and transported in as secure a way as possible.

Agents and Dealers should:

  • Know their customers, and only supply SSAN to those for whom full address and contact details are recorded.
  • Ask new customers to open an account, and ask for and record photo identification details, e.g. drivers licence.
  • For all transactions, record the date, total quantity, number and size of bags, and anticipated use. SSAN should only be supplied if you are satisfied that it is for genuine agricultural use. If you are not sure, you can refuse a sale.

The following signs may indicate a suspicious buyer:

  • New customer.
  • Not from the local area.
  • Does not want product delivered.
  • Insists on paying cash.
  • Will not supply adequate identification.
  • Is nervous or impatient.
  • Has little knowledge of fertilisers or agriculture, e.g.
    • Vague about the quantity required
    • Vague about use.
    • Purchasing out of season.
    • Not interested in alternatives, and insists on SSAN.

Farmers should be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour and circumstances.

Suspicious incidents or purchase attempts can be reported on the 24 hour National Security Hotline (1800 123 400).

Which State Departments will be responsible for Licensing?

The States will administer licensing arrangements and different Departments may be involved. The intent of the legislation, however, will be the same, so that there will be a uniform national approach. The state and territory agencies administering the licensing system, with expected start dates, are listed below.

QLD:

Chief Inspector of Explosives
Department of Natural Resources and Mines;
Phone 32371386
Fax. 32354395|
Email explosives@nrm.qld.gov.au
Website www.nrm.qld.gov.au/mines/explosives