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Grain forfeit benefits charity

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A unique grain-selling charity scheme that has slashed the number of overloaded grain trucks travelling on WA roads has raised its biggest total ever.

A whopping $250,000 was clocked up through the Harvest Mass Management Scheme last harvest, WA’s second-biggest but most valuable crop on record.

Tallying the numbers last week, CBH chairman Wally Newman said the scheme had cut the number of overloaded trucks on WA roads by 70 per cent since its inception.

Under the scheme, farmers can forfeit grain from overloaded trucks at CBH receival sites, which is then sold to raise money for WA charities.

Mr Newman said the latest donation brought the scheme’s fundraising total to $1.4 million since it started donating to charity in 2012.

“Between the 2008-2009 harvests the rates of overloaded trucks arriving at a CBH site has reduced from 1.27 per cent to 0.4 per cent,” he said.

“This scheme is unlike any other initiative. Never in the history of WA road transport has there been such an effective and practical deterrent to overloading. So much so that no one intentionally overloads when delivering to CBH.”

The high total has, in part, been attributed to the high grain prices netted by the 687 tonnes of grain surrendered and sold.

Grain Industry Association of WA declared last harvest’s 17.9 million tonne crop worth more than $7 billion, based on then-strong prices fuelled by export demand and a dry spell on Australia’s east coast.

The scheme was created by CBH and Main Roads WA, with support from WA grain farmers.

While the scheme was created in 2008–09 harvest, it only started returning proceeds to WA charities in 2012.

Mr Newman presented cheques to the 13 recipient charities on June 7.

They included Youth Focus ($50,000), Ronald McDonald House ($30,000), St John Ambulance WA ($20,000), Camp Kulin ($20,000), CWA ($20,000), Wheatbelt Men’s Health ($20,000), Lifeline ($20,000), Heart Kids WA ($15,000), Cancer Council WA ($15,000), Perth Children’s Hospital ($15,000), Anglicare ($10,000), Foodbank ($10,000) and Comfort Quilts Against Cancer ($5000).

CWA WA president Heather Allen said the $20,000 donation would be put towards the Sir James Mitchell Education and Welfare Fund Drought Relief, which supports individuals and families experiencing financial hardship, in particular with education.

“Last year we received $25,000, and we helped a variety of different people, we helped some children in a drought-affected area go to a STEM workshop, because their parents couldn’t afford to help them... we also helped people who were battling with drought,” she said.

“We were really happy... we have used some of it already to help a student whose parents could not afford to help pay for his agriculture education.”

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