MOREE and Narrabri Shire Councils have signed up to participate in the NSW Government’s Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS), following heavy criticism from NSW National MP Kevin Humphries.
When the Councils, located in key grain growing regions, demurred on the decision to implement the Scheme, Mr Humphries said he was “extremely disappointed”.
Mooree and Narrabri Council dragged their feet behind other councils on implementing the GHMA, questioning its impact on roads and ratepayers.
Barwon, Walgett, Coonamble, Warrumbungle, Brewarrina, Bourke, Gilgandra, Warren, Bogan, Cobar, Narromine and Lachlan Shires signed up at the first opportunity.
Moree Council held an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, October 17, to canvass community views and made its determination on Friday, October 18.
The GHMS allows a five per cent tolerance on general mass limits (GML) for road trucks during harvest, bumping up the permissible GML to streamline logistics.
Mr Humphries says the scheme will benefit the grain industry and drive down transport costs by $4 a tonne.
The scheme is a continuation of the 2012 State-wide harvest concessional tolerance of five per cent on existing GML, which Moree Plains Shire Council opted into Mr Humphries said
NSW Farmers economics spokesperson Bill McDonnell said it is great news that Moree had agreed to participate in the scheme.
“Moree is the biggest crop producing shire in the state producing crops valued at more than $870 million in 2010/11,” Mr McDonnell said.
“It is also encouraging that a number of Riverina shires have also considered the scheme in recent days and decided to sign up.
“This is just in the nick of time with the dry weather bringing the start of harvest forward and headers starting to roll into paddocks.”