Gabbin bin hollow win

11 Aug, 2004 10:00 PM
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GROWERS around the Gabbin region, east of Koorda, had a win of sorts after Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) agreed to provide three segregations at their bin this harvest.

The growers were frustrated the bin was under-utilised in a bumper season, only taking two segregations last year, APW and ASW, with most grain going to nearby Koorda during the bulk of the harvest.

They asked CBH operations general manager Colin Tutt to install a bulkhead if they provided a pad that met CBH specifications.

The Mt Marshall Shire Council was also willing to provide a grader and loader to prepare the pad at no cost.

But these offers were rejected because of CBH funding constraints.

After a sometimes heated debate, Mr Tutt agreed to allow three segregations, APW, ASW and either noodle or hard to be stacked at Gabbin until they touched.

Gabbin grower Bob Huxley said he didn't think the segregation option would provide much relief to local growers, who he said were willing to pay an extra $2/t to improve the efficiency of the bin.

"Putting a bulkhead in would have helped take the pressure off Koorda and Bencubbin and make better use of the infrastructure here," Mr Huxley said.

"Last year we had four CBH staff basically on light duties and we were battling to have two trucks at the bin during the day while Koorda was going flat out."

Mr Huxley said growers had decided to bypass Gabbin because it was uneconomical to travel to a second bin if their grain was not graded APW or ASW.

He had asked if CBH could re-deploy bulkheads from northern wheatbelt bins that did not look like having as big a harvest this year.

But he said this option had been rejected.

Responding to fears the Gabbin bin would be closed, Mr Tutt said that would not happen. He believed the bin had up to 30 years service left.

He said the bins that could be targeted for closure were those that had run-down infrastructure.

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