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Grain harvest mass management scheme: Plan ‘unworkable’, says VFF

Tough call: Paul Schilling and Marshall Rodda are preparing for harvest, but Mr Rodda says excluding grain trucks more than 15 years old from Victoria’s new harvest management plan is impractical and unworkable. Picture: Zoe Phillips
Tough call: Paul Schilling and Marshall Rodda are preparing for harvest, but Mr Rodda says excluding grain trucks more than 15 years old from Victoria’s new harvest management plan is impractical and unworkable. Picture: Zoe Phillips

A PLAN to introduce a grain harvest mass management scheme but omit any truck older than 15 years has been slammed by the state's peak farm lobby group.  

The Victorian Farmers Federation has described the State Government proposed grain harvest transport scheme as impractical and unworkable.  

Under the new arrangement trucks registered with the scheme and carrying grain at harvest time, would be allowed a 5 per cent tolerance over their maximum weight thresholds.  

However trucks manufactured before January 1, 2002, would not be allowed to participate in the scheme, which the VFF claims would make it "unworkable".  

VFF grains committee president Ross Johns said bulk handlers would have the responsibility of determining which trucks would be allowed to have extra weight, and which would not.  

"It think it's going to be hard to administer.

There will be interpretations and differences of opinion and it will not achieve the objectives the Minister intended," Mr Johns said.  

"We need something that's workable and practical for everyone, and is safe for the community."  

He added the proposed Victorian scheme was not consistent with other states.  

NSW allows a 5 per cent weight tolerance, but it has no exclusions. Trucks are subject to annual roadworthy inspections, which is not the case in Victoria.  

Tarranyurk farmer Marshall Rodda said another complicating factor for his business, was some of this trucks were registered under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, which already allows a 5 per cent weight limit tolerance.  

He said gaining this accreditation was expensive and time-consuming, costing thousands of dollars, so some of his older, smaller trucks were not under this national scheme.  

"Now the bulk handlers will have to look at which year the truck was built, and whether they are on the national scheme or not," he said. "It has made it more complicated."  

Mr Rodda said many farmers had smaller older, well-maintained trucks, which only operate at harvest time but would be excluded from the scheme because of their age.  

"I think the bottom line is that they want old trucks off the road," Mr Rodda said.  

A spokesman for Mr Donnellan said the older trucks will not be included in new program for safety reasons.

Topics:  agriculture grain mass management

News Corp Australia

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