Moree Council says yes to Grain Harvest Management Scheme

NSW council will allow eligible trucks to exceed total mass limits by up to 5 per cent.


A major farming region of New South Wales is continuing to support the state’s Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS) to permit trucks to haul more grain per load.

Moree Plains Shire Council in northern NSW has signed up to the scheme for this year’s harvest season and has agreed to be involved from October 1, 2015 to January 1, 2016.

The council has imposed restrictions, namely limiting access to 25-26m B-double and road train routes on council regional and rural roads and implementing an 80km/h speed limit on all unsealed roads. Restrictions will also be in place for gravel and dirt roads only accessible during dry weather.

GHMS eligible trucks can legally exceed total mass limits by up to 5 per cent when delivering grain to receivers that are also participating in the scheme.

"The scheme gives farmers and transport operators the reassurance that if they misjudge when loading in the paddock that they are not going to be turned away at the grain receival or breached for overloading above general mass limits (GML)," Moree Council says.

It says the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), which is responsible for the scheme, and NSW Police will be out in force during the harvest season to ensure the industry is meeting its obligations.

The Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) has welcomed news of Moree’s involvement and says it comes not he back of a successful campaign to promote the safety and productivity benefits of the GHMS.

"The LBCA played a significant role in establishing the Grain Harvest Management Scheme in NSW. The scheme allows eligible heavy vehicles to legally exceed the regulated total mass limits by up to 5 per cent when delivering certain grains to participating grain receivers in participating council areas," the group says.

The LBCA has reminded trucking operators to make sure they are carrying the applicable notice demonstrating they are enrolled in the GHMS.

"Heavy vehicle operators working under the Grain Harvest Management Scheme must carry a copy of the notice in their vehicle and be able to produce it on request," the LBCA says.

"Operators are advised to check the NHVR [National Heavy Vehicle Regulator] notices regularly for updates. Penalties apply for being in breach of the notice."

The recently released review of the GHMS for the 2014 harvest season found almost a near perfect compliance rate.

"The data also shows the continued commitment by industry to loading within the GHMS masses, with very low levels of overloading behaviour above GHMS concessions," the review states.

It says participation rates are on the rise, with 56 councils approving GHMS trips on their roads.

"Survey responses from local councils indicate a generally positive response to the GHMS, with almost 60 per cent of survey respondents suggesting the GHMS was achieving a balance between road wear concerns and a productivity benefit," the report says.

The GHMS was introduced in 2012 and the NSW Government has agreed to extend it until at least June 30, 2016.


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