No crop, no bin

30 Oct, 2007 09:00 PM
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EAST Maya grain grower Peter Waterhouse is one of many northern growers frustrated about the restricted services regime under which he and others in his area are being forced to deliver their grain to CBH this season.

Mr Waterhouse said drought stricken farmers in the northern Wheatbelt were very disappointed with CBH’s management and said it was time to speak out.

He said growers were particularly disappointed with CBH’s decision not to open 12 receival points north of the McLevie bin this season.

Mr Waterhouse said he attended a recent pre-harvest bin meeting in Latham where about 20 other growers expressed their anger and frustration at the CBH management.

“Everyone wanted at least one bin to open but they didn’t want to listen to any of us,” Mr Waterhouse said.

“So it’s about time we stirred it up a bit and got things happening.”

Mr Waterhouse said the McLeivie to Mullewa line was a delivery distance of about 250km.

He said keeping bins on the line closed meant many growers would be forced to cart their grain over 200km on a round trip.

“CBH emphasises safety and mass management, but are they going to be responsible for any accidents that may happen this season because of farmers being forced to cart long distances over narrow bitumen and gravel roads?” he asked.

“There has already been a triple fatality as a result of dust caused by a wheat truck on a narrow road a few years ago in this area.”

Mr Waterhouse said CBH would not open any bins because it thought it would cost too much.

He said there was a possibility CBH could save money by opening some of the bins.

“Instead of sending permanent staff down to the Esperance zone, they could have kept them home to operate a couple of bins, saving huge living away from home and travel allowances,” he said.

“In the southern section of this area where there is some reasonable crops, a lot of farmers will have to cart to McLeivie, Miling and Watheroo bins in the Kwinana zone.

“This could cost extra because bins will have to be kept open longer to cater for growers carting from long distances, and because of extra grain, open bulkheads may be used, costing money for tarping.

“The extra grain won’t help the transport and storage situation in the Kwinana zone because of the better crops closer to Perth.”

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