NSW Council backs harvest scheme
Moree Plains Shire Council on board GHMS after a brief hiatus
has backed the New South Wales Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS) after a brief hiatus.
The council dug its heels in due to lack of detail in the absence of a report on the 2015-16 harvest.
It will now participate in this season’s scheme, to a point.
Councillors expressed concerns that the industry data indicated higher than anticipated breaches within the shire.
“I am pretty disappointed that the data seems to show that the system is being abused by some operators,” mayor Katrina Humphries says.
“We were assured by industry representatives in the last few years that this would be utilised only as a tolerance – not become a backdoor way of overloading trucks.”
The council agreed to participate from October 1 to December 31 with access restricted to 25m-26m B-double and road train (A-double and AB-triple) routes on its regional and local roads.
The scheme provides an additional 5 per cent mass allowance for productivity and aims to minimise the risk associated with the variable conditions of loading trucks at farms.
It is designed to minimise heavy vehicle movements, protect roads and to increase productivity and efficiency of the grain industry.
According to Roads and Maritime
Services (RMS), the NSW Grain Harvest Management Scheme: July 2015 to June
2016 Harvest Period Report, shows 80 per cent of deliveries were completed using the scheme concession.
“This confirms the importance of the scheme in continuing to provide significant benefits to regional communities through promoting the safe and productive movement of grain,” RMS freight branch acting director Susie Mackay says.
“The scheme is also meeting its objectives of protecting road infrastructure and facilitating the safe movement of grain through low levels of overloading and saving an estimated 9525 one-way trips.”
Across all deliveries, both GHMS and non-GHMS, compliance was high at 95.5 per cent, with 4.1 per cent of all reported deliveries being overmass and 4.3 per cent of GHMS deliveries being above GHMS mass limits.
The report sees industry compliance as “strong”, demonstrating that “the scheme continues to achieve its objectives”.