Drought sees grain mill's hours extended to cope with demand for feed

MAKE IT GRAIN: Councillors say drought is the number one priority at the moment. Photo: Peter Hardin 150818PHC005
MAKE IT GRAIN: Councillors say drought is the number one priority at the moment. Photo: Peter Hardin 150818PHC005

COUNCIL has granted permission for a Tamworth grain mill to operate around the clock to cope with the unending call for stock feed.

Despite a record of complaints from the nearby residents about noise, Premier Stock Feeds has been allowed to extend its operating hours to meet the “demands of the drought”.

The mill will be able to operate around the clock from 6am Monday morning, right through until 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

Heavy machinery can be used between 6am and 9pm on weekdays and vehicle deliveries will be happening within the same hours.

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Tamworth Regional Council voted to extend the mill’s operating hours for three months and pledged to review the decision later on.

Deputy mayor Helen Tickle fully backed the initiative and seemed willing to keep the extension going as long as necessary.

“I’d like to see it for six months or as long the company needs,” she said.

“This is the worst drought in 100 years.

“Our number one priority at them moment is the drought, supporting farmers and keeping stock alive.”

Neighbouring resident Vicki Woods addressed council before its decision and said there had been a long history of non-compliance at the mill when it came to noise.

It was point echoed in the report to council on the proposed changes.

“While it is acknowledged that there is history of complaints associated with the mill operation since 2011, it is considered that this operation is critical to address the ongoing drought conditions,” the report said.

Phil Betts said he heard concerning stories from the recent drought forum at Attunga about farmers not being able to get enough feed for their stock.

“Suppliers are not able to supply the full amount farmers need,” he said.

“It’s just critical we support local farmers, because it’s not just farmers, it’s really going to effect the entire community.”

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