Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

No Grain without Pain

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

No Grain without Pain

Article excerpt

Jayden Brown

Reporter

THE operator of Allora's Grain X facility says an unprecedented harvest season is to blame for ongoing environmental problems at the site.

The comments come as the operators are called to face a special meeting of the Southern Downs Regional Council this month over complaints they acted outside of an agreement with the council.

Last year Grain X and the council forged a Memorandum of Understanding, dealing with a range of issues raised by Allora residents.

At a meeting of a council and community committee in December, it was revealed container loading was undertaken at the Herbert St site outside of the agreed hours.

Residents have also complained about dust, noise and odour coming from the site.

Grain X CEO Chris Hood said issues had arisen because the 2015 harvest was far busier than expected, although production had settled down since peaking in late-November.

Mr Hood said like most agricultural businesses, Grain X had to take what the season gave them.

"We knew it was going to be busy but I didn't think it would be as busy as it was," he said

"One of the things locals picked up on was trucks weren't meant to be on Grain X site at night time.

"The sheer volume of traffic coming through meant we had no choice."

Mr Hood acknowledged Grain X had breached a self-imposed 9pm curfew 'two or three' times.

"I made it very clear to officers and council that it would be a game changer of a season," he said.

"I did try and flag that the 9pm early pick up from the site was out of our control."

To deal with the large harvest, the council allowed Grain X to use the Allora Depot to load containers.

The aim was to remove 24/7 operations from the Grain X site, however it was fraught with issues.

Road trains were forbidden from using the route to the Allora Depot, adding extra time and cost to the Allora grain company.

Another issue the Grain X operators didn't see coming was trucks turning away from Goondiwindi. …

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