Legal threat on freight charges

27 Nov, 2002 10:00 PM
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CO-OPERATIVE Bulk Handling is considering legal action to force the withdrawal of the newly introduced freight charge at its Metro Grain Terminal.

The MGC has attracted a freight charge from AWB Limited for the first time. AWB initially set the charge at $1.21 per tonne but reduced it to 49c last week.

CBH was worried that it would makes the site less cost effective for growers to deliver and would drive grain away from the MGC.

CBH-Grain Pool supply chain manager Tim Collins said CBH "would pursue legal avenues to oppose the imposition of the MGC charge".

"CBH opposes a freight charge imposed by AWB at MGC because it is another cost for WA growers and it creates an uneven playing field in the Kwinana zone," Mr Collins said.

"The freight charge disadvantages producers in the Kwinana zone because all other zones can deliver direct to port. Kwinana was the only port facility not set up for road deliveries.

"WA growers invested $100 million in MGC on the basis that it remain a natural port terminal (no freight rate) for the Kwinana zone.

"The cost of moving the grain to Kwinana has always been absorbed by CBH."AWB Ltd is now intent on changing the rules and in doing so, will dramatically impact commercial outcomes for that site.

"We have opened Kwinana for limited road deliveries - on a booking system - to make it easier for South West growers to offload grain and pick up fertiliser."

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