Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

New weighbridge for Dookie

The Dookie grain receival site is set for an upgrade but the Berrigan site will close before this season.

July 1, 2014 3:00am

Dookie will be getting a new weighbridge this year.

The Dookie GrainCorp receival site is expected to get a $250000 weighbridge and other works designed to make the site more efficient.

GrainCorp has confirmed the weighbridge is expected to be installed in time for this year’s grain handling, as well as the re-siting of the grain sampling building.

The upgrade is separate to the company’s recently announced regeneration plan which involves upgrading some sites and shutting about 100.

Under the plan, the Dookie site is expected to be classified as a primary site with the opportunity to have grain freighted out by rail.

However, the Shepparton to Dookie line has not been maintained for at least five years and V/Line says there has not been enough grain destined for the ports to justify using the line.

The grain receival site in Berrigan is one of the sites listed as non-operational in GrainCorp’s Project Regeneration plan.

Berrigan grain grower Lindsay Dickens said while the closure wasn’t seen as a good thing, he considered the costs of its upkeep.

‘‘If you’re close to the site like we are, you pay a minimum charge that would cover the distance to travel a bit further,’’ Mr Dickens said.

‘‘It really doesn’t get opened a lot because it’s not on rail anymore and was just used in emergency when there was a lot of grain.’’

GrainCorp has listed about 100 grain storage sites that have received less than 10 per cent of grain.

Mr Dickens carts most of his grain to a primary site in Tocumwal.

Another Berrigan grower Graeme Pyle, who also transported grain to Tocumwal, said while his business would not be affected by the Berrigan closure, GrainCorp’s relationship with growers had been lacklustre.

‘‘It’s a disgrace. They have taken so long to get their act together and do something — the little ones have to suffer,’’ Mr Pyle said.

GrainCorp’s decision to shut down smaller grain storage sites comes after a 43 per cent drop in half-year net profit.

Berrigan Shire Council general manager Rowan Perkins said GrainCorp’s regeneration plan had lacked proper communication.

‘‘There never seemed to be a proper list,’’ Mr Perkins said.

‘‘It’s all sort of come about in dribs and drabs.’’

It’s now unclear what will happen to sites like Berrigan, after recent reports from industry sources stating GrainCorp did not want to sell the sites to competitors.

Other sites in the region set to close are Echuca and Mathoura.

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