RENEWED CALLS FOR GRAIN INDUSTRY
2019 . PRESS RELEASE . EPCBH . BRUCE HEDDLE
Local grain cooperative Eyre Peninsula Cooperative Bulk Handling (EPCBH) has renewed calls for the State Government to deliver a comprehensive strategy for the grain industry in the region.
With the recent closure of the rail system for grain transport and the announced closures of grain storage facilities in Minnipa and Kyancutta, the industry on the Eyre Peninsula is facing a raft of changes to its operations.EP
Cooperative spokesperson Bruce Heddle said while the removal of around 50,000 tonnes of permanent storage from Central Eyre Peninsula may not affect farmers with other pathways to market or Viterra’s bottom line, it will decrease the industry’s flexibility.
“The storage facility closures will present a significant impost to the farmers that use these facilities, at a time when many in the industry are experiencing production shortfalls.
“It also raises the question of facility ownership and maintenance,” Mr Heddle said.
“We require leadership from the State Government to deliver a strategic plan that can offer certainty to the region, so we can invest and pursue opportunities with confidence.”
The Eyre Peninsula currently exports 40% of South Australia’s grain and almost 10% of Australia’s, receiving some of the lowest prices per tonne in the country.
EPCBH believes an alternative export pathways through a port located at Cape Hardy would be a significant opportunity for the region to not only increase the competitiveness of the grain industry, but to open opportunities in other industries.
Mr Heddle said this would also reduce the number of trucks moving through lower Eyre Peninsula townships affected by the rail closure.
“While the proposed port at Cape Hardy can operate as grain-only initially, this infrastructure can be available to multiple users ensuring cheaper port operation costs in the longer term.
“The Eyre Peninsula now needs sound decision-making from government to support our future economic prosperity.”
Contact details: Bruce Heddle | M . 0429804042