Western Australia Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti
Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan
Efficiency-Boosting Plan For Agricultural Region Freight Released For Comment
Victor P Taffa
- McGowan Government election commitment to boost freight and trade efficiency
- Freight priorities identified for the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance agricultural regions
- New draft strategy to guide policy and investment decisions for the next 10 years
- Initial $10 Million investment to upgrade key commodity routes announced today
- Final plan will help State Government vie for Commonwealth funding
Draft ‘Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy – Responding to Change’ has today been released for public comment.
“With the agricultural and food sector representing about 10 % of Western Australia’s economy, we need to ensure our crucial transport supply chains continue to improve, helping our key regional agricultural areas prepare for future growth.” Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said.
“Draft Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy identifies high priority infrastructure investments and regulatory improvements to help enhance efficiency, safety and economic growth of our agricultural sector which are central to our ability to compete on a global scale.”
Freight Strategy provides a framework to prioritise decision-making to address the key challenges faced when transporting grain, livestock, hay, fertiliser and agricultural lime in the key agricultural regions of the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance.
Freight Strategy has identified more than 20 multi-modal regional transport infrastructure project packages, which can assist in improving agricultural freight efficiencies and productivity.
These include upgrading rail lines and improving access for longer trains, building new regional intermodal terminals and upgrading roads to allow for heavy vehicle access.
“This draft freight strategy has been developed in step with the needs of industry and the key agricultural regions to ensure we produce the best result for Western Australia.” Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan said.
“Freight task associated with agricultural supply chains presents challenges that are unique to these regions.”
Coinciding with the release of today’s draft strategy is the announcement of 20 regional road upgrades worth a total of $10 Million as part of the State Government’s Commodity Freight Routes package announced in the recent State Budget.
Many of the secondary freight roads funded feature as priority upgrades in the draft ‘Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy – Responding to Change’.
State Budget also had $14 Million allocated to Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Routes to complement $70 Million put forward by the Commonwealth. This is part of the State Government’s wider $2 Billion regional roads budget for Western Australia.
Public feedback period closes on 12 July 2019.